Flexible robust binder-free carbon nanotube membranes for solid state and microcapacitor application

Kofi Adu, Danhao Ma, Yuxiang Wang, Michael Spencer, Ramakrishnan Rajagopalan, C. Yu Wang, Clive Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present a liquid phase post synthesis self-assemble protocol that transforms trillions of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in powder form into densely packed flexible, robust and binder-free macroscopic membranes with a hierarchical pore structure. We employ charge transfer engineering to spontaneously disperse the CNTs in a liquid medium. The processing protocol has limited or no impact on the intrinsic properties of the CNTs. As the thickness of the CNT membrane is increased, we observed a gradual transition from high flexibility to buckling and brittleness in the flexural properties of the membranes. The binder-free CNT membranes have bulk mass density greater than that of water (1.0 g cm-3). We correlate the mass of the CNTs in the membrane to the thickness of the membrane and obtained a bulk mass density of ∼1.11 g cm-3 0.03 g cm-3. We demonstrate the use of the CNT membranes as electrode in a pristine and oxidized single/stacked solid-state capacitor as well as pristine interdigitated microcapacitor that show time constant of ∼32 ms with no degradation in performance even after 10 000 cycles. The capacitors show very good temperature dependence over a wide range of temperatures with good cycling performance up to 90 °C. The specific capacitance of the pseudocapacitive CNT electrode at room temperature was 72 F g-1 and increased to 100 F g-1 at 70 °C. The leakage current of bipolar stacked solid state capacitor was ∼100 nA cm-2 at 2.5 V when held for 72 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035605
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 19 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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