Dry deposition vs. wet dispersion
Synthesizing carbon nanotubes (CNT) is a challenging feat. In order to allow Canatu CNTs to outperform others, two key processes were developed. The first is the Floating Catalyst Chemical Vapor Deposition (FC-CVD), which provides better control over carbon nanotube growth. The second is dry deposition, in which the carbon nanotubes are dry printed onto any substrate in atmospheric conditions.
Floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition
During the FC-CVD process, catalyst particles are created at the top of the reactor. These particles float downwards with a carrier gas directly towards a membrane filter. As the catalyst particles flow through the reactor, CNTs grow on the catalyst particle before landing directly on the filter, forming the CNT film. The benefits of FC-CVD include being low-cost, readily scalable and offering enhanced control of the CNT growth which ensures optimal film performance.
This is contrasted with the traditional CVD method where fabrication of CNTs is done on an intermediate substrate. This requires a dispersion stage before the CNTs reach the final substrate, which require multiple steps that are detrimental to CNT quality.
The traditional liquid dispersion of CNTs starts with nanotube powders and requires multiple, complex and expensive processing steps to achieve the deposited films.
Detrimental steps such as ultrasonication result in shorter, less pristine and less clean CNTs. Such defects can lower tensile strength by up to 85%, decreasing mechanical, thermal, and chemical durability and cause bundling. Furthermore, when molecules attach to these holes, electrochemical sensitivity decreases.
Canatu has skipped the liquid dispersion step altogether. In our unique dry deposition process, the carbon nanotubes are nucleated in a reactor and deposited onto a substrate directly underneath the reactor.
This results in cleaner, longer, and virtually defect-free CNTs. In principle, electrical conductivity and tensile strength increases with length and purity of the tubes, leading to more enhanced properties and increased performance across different applications.
Reaping the full benefits of dry deposition
Canatu’s methods not only start out with better material, but also maintains the quality of these materials on the substrate. This does away with material degrading, hazards, acid treatments, sonification, surfactants or functionalizations, which only serve to undermine the quality of the final product.
Dry deposition method allows performance components to be easily produced in a more rapid, economical and environmentally sound procedure
Compared to other techniques such as nanomaterial printing using inks, dry deposition method reduces the number of steps to make deposits and increases the performance of the final products. In some cases, waste products from other industrial processes can even be recycled to produce Canatu’s carbon nanomaterials, making this process more environmentally friendly.
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