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Keywords:

  • Carbon nanotubes;
  • Sponges;
  • Self-assembly;
  • Water remediation;
  • Oil spill cleanup
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Carbon nanotube sponges are synthesized by chemical vapor deposition, in which nanotubes are self-assembled into a three-dimensionally interconnected framework. The sponges are very light, highly porous, hydrophobic in pristine form, and can be elastically and reversibly deformed into any shape. The sponges can float on water surfaces and absorb large-area spreading oil films (see images), suggesting promising environmental applications.