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Carbon Nanotube/Nanofiber Embedded Nanoporous Anodized Aluminium Oxide Surface and Its Tribological Properties

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Nanoporous alumina has been prepared by anodization of pure aluminium using phosphoric acid electrolyte. Carbon nanotubes/nanofibres (CNTs/CNFs) are grown within the pores by chemical vapour deposition technique, using acetylene gas as carbon precursor. Such synthesis of nanostructured carbonaceous materials within the nanoporous oxide template has high potential for many applications (e.g., electronics, magnetic, etc.) in nanotechnology. Possibility of using such material combination for engineering systems where abrasion resistance coupled with self-lubrication (at comparatively higher loads) are the key requirements, has been explored through the present work. Pore structure has been characterized by SEM/FE-SEM in this study and CNTs/CNFs have been examined by TEM, FE-SEM and Raman spectroscopy. While the pore diameters are found to lie in the range of 180–220 nm, the CNTs/CNFs diameter are observed to be in the range of 50 to 220 nm. The CNTs/CNFs growing from bottom of the pores are found to replicate the pore diameter, while those grown above the surface are varying significantly in diameter and probably matching the diameter of the catalyst, which remains adsorbed on the top surface and inner walls of the pores. On comparing friction and wear properties of both materials (viz. anodized alumina and CNTs/CNFs embedded anodized alumina) as determined by pin-on–disc machine using hardened steel disc as counterface, it is found that wear rate and coefficient of friction of CNTs embedded composite surface is significantly lower which is attributed to formation of transfer layer of hard wear resistant alumina mechanically mixed with graphitic CNTs/CNFs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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