A convenient method to improve electrical conductivity
Carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice are somewhat very inert and delicate at the same time. Carbon nanotubes or graphene require hazardous conditions to disrupt this network and introduce changes to the microstructure or composition of the material. On the other hand, an appropriate selection of a chemical compound can be very effective in modulating their electrical properties. In some cases it is just enough to expose nanocarbon to vapors of such compound and the conductivity is increased or decreased to a large extent.
We have just developed a method of increasing electrical conductivity of nanocarbon materials by up tp 70%. The key is to select a so-called interhalogen compound which consists of a combination of chlorine, iodine or bromine (halogens). Such chemical compounds, which readily affect the distribution of electrons in the material can be easily applied to both carbon nanotubes or graphene. When they are exposed to halogens, a number of particles available for conduction of electricity increases what makes the material less resistive. As a consequence, we can pass more electric current through it. The effect was found to be permanent and had no negative effect on the carbon nanotubes. It is a promising step, which could be incorporated in the process of manufacture of highly-conductive wires and sheets based on nanocarbon materials.
Read more: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7NR00224F