Open Access Nano Express

Hall Measurements on Carbon Nanotube Paper Modified With Electroless Deposited Platinum

Leslie Petrik1*, Patrick Ndungu1 and Emmanuel Iwuoha2

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental and Nanosciences Group, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa

2 Sensor Lab, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 5:38-47  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9440-5

Published: 18 September 2009


Carbon nanotube paper, sometimes referred to as bucky paper, is a random arrangement of carbon nanotubes meshed into a single robust structure, which can be manipulated with relative ease. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes were used to make the nanotube paper, and were subsequently modified with platinum using an electroless deposition method based on substrate enhanced electroless deposition. This involves the use of a sacrificial metal substrate that undergoes electro-dissolution while the platinum metal deposits out of solution onto the nanotube paper via a galvanic displacement reaction. The samples were characterized using SEM/EDS, and Hall-effect measurements. The SEM/EDS analysis clearly revealed deposits of platinum (Pt) distributed over the nanotube paper surface, and the qualitative elemental analysis revealed co-deposition of other elements from the metal substrates used. When stainless steel was used as sacrificial metal a large degree of Pt contamination with various other metals was observed. Whereas when pure sacrificial metals were used bimetallic Pt clusters resulted. The co-deposition of a bimetallic system upon carbon nanotubes was a function of the metal type and the time of exposure. Hall-effect measurements revealed some interesting fluctuations in sheet carrier density and the dominant carrier switched from N- to P-type when Pt was deposited onto the nanotube paper. Perspectives on the use of the nanotube paper as a replacement to traditional carbon cloth in water electrolysis systems are also discussed.

Carbon nanotube paper; Platinum; Hall measurements; Substrate enhanced electroless deposition; Membrane electrode assembly