Nanomaterials are a new series of high-tech materials. Compared with macroscopic materials, nanomaterials have many unique force, light, electricity and magnetism properties. With the development of science and technology, there are more and more kinds of nanomaterials, among which nanocarbon is an important kind of nanomaterials. Nanocarbon are composed of carbon elements, and the dispersed phase scale has at least one dimension less than 100 nm. Carbon element is one of the most important elements existing in nature. It has the characteristics of multiple electron orbital hybridization of SP, SP2 and SP3, which makes the obtained nanocarbons diverse.
- Catalysis field: Due to the many valuable physical and chemical properties, such as high specific surface area, corrosion resistance, good thermal stability and easy modification, nanocarbon is suitable for application in the catalysis field. As a new metal-free catalytic material, nanocarbon can be used in oxidation, reduction, substitution, addition and the other reactions. As metal-free catalysts, nanocarbon catalysts have important meaning in saving metal resources and improving process greenness.
Figure 1. An example of nanocarbon catalyst.
- Sensor field: After absorbing some gases, the conductivity of nanocarbon will change obviously. Therefore, nanocarbon can be used as sensors to detect the gases. After modified by photosensitive, humidity sensitive, pressure sensitive materials, nanocarbon can be designed as various nanoscale functional sensors.
Figure 2. A gas sensor designed by nanocarbon.
- Electronic device field: With the advantages of excellent high-temperature stability, corrosion resistance, anti-interference, nanocarbon are widely used in the field of new high-performance electronic devices including new electronic probes, supercapacitors, field emission materials and the others.
- Cancer treatment field: Using the large adsorption area and strong adsorption capacity of nanocarbons, they can be combined with drugs by reversible physical adsorption. Therefore, the anticancer drugs adsorbed by nanocarbon can be released slowly, which will reduce the adverse reactions of drugs.
- The others: Nanocarbon is also widely used in other fields. Because of the high specific surface area, nanocarbon is very suitable for hydrogen storage and play a great role in the development and utilization of hydrogen energy. In addition, nanocarbon can also be used as cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, which can greatly improve the performance of batteries.
Nanocarbon can be divided into carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers and carbon nanospheres.
- Carbon nanotubes: Carbon nanotubes are seamless and hollow tubes formed by carbon atoms. They can be generally divided into single-walled carbon nanotubes, multi-walled carbon nanotubes and double-walled carbon nanotubes.
- Carbon nanofibers: The diameter of carbon nanofiber is generally 50 ~ 200 nm, which is between carbon fiber grown in gas phase and carbon nanotubes. It has excellent mechanical properties, high conductivity and thermal conductivity, and large specific surface area.
- Carbon nanospheres: According to the structural morphology, carbon nanospheres can be divided into hollow carbon nanospheres, solid hard carbon nanospheres, porous carbon nanospheres, core-shell carbon nanospheres and the others.
- Chen, Xiang-Lan, Huang, Jia-Wei, Huang, Yi-Chen, et al. Efficient Fe‐Co‐N‐C Electrocatalyst Towards Oxygen Reduction Derived from a Cationic CoII‐based Metal–Organic Framework Modified by Anion‐Exchange with Potassium Ferricyanide[J]. Chemistry Asian Journal, 2019.
- Ugale A D, Jagtap R V, Pawar D, et al. Nano-carbon: preparation, assessment, and applications for NH3 gas sensor and electromagnetic interference shielding[J]. Rsc Advances, 2016, 6.
- Hu, S., Wang, T., Pei, X. et al. Synergistic Enhancement of Antitumor Efficacy by PEGylated Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes Modified with Cell-Penetrating Peptide TAT[J]. Nanoscale Res Lett. 2016.