Three-dimensional nitrogen-doped multiwall carbon nanotube sponges with tunable properties

Changsheng Shan, Wenjie Zhao, X. Lucas Lu, Daniel J. O'Brien, Yupeng Li, Zeyuan Cao, Ana Laura Elias, Rodolfo Cruz-Silva, Mauricio Terrones, Bingqing Wei, Jonghwan Suhr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional (3D) nitrogen-doped multiwall carbon nanotube (N-MWCNT) sponge possessing junctions induced by both nitrogen and sulfur was synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The formation of "elbow" junctions as well as "welded" junctions, which are attributed to the synergistic effect of the nitrogen dopant and the sulfur promoter, plays a critically important role in the formation of 3D nanotube sponges. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing the synthesis of macroscale 3D N-MWCNT sponges. Most importantly, the diameter of N-MWCNT can be simply controlled by varying the concentration of sulfur, which in turn controls both the sponge's mechanical and its electrical properties. It was experimentally shown that, with increasing diameter of N-MWCNT, the elastic modulus of the sponge increased while the electrical conductivity decreased. The mechanical behaviors of the sponges have also been quantitatively analyzed by employing strain energy function modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5514-5520
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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