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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 691503, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/691503
Review Article

Recent Trends in the Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Supported on Carbon Nanotubes and Their Applications

1DST/CSIR Nanotechnology Innovation Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2UJ Centre of Nanomaterials Science, Department of Applied Chemisty, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein 2028, South Africa

Received 16 October 2011; Accepted 30 December 2011

Academic Editor: Renyun Zhang

Copyright © 2012 Sarah C. Motshekga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The study of coating carbon nanotubes with metal/oxides nanoparticles is now becoming a promising and challenging area of research. To optimize the use of carbon nanotubes in various applications, it is necessary to attach functional groups or other nanostructures to their surface. The combination of the distinctive properties of carbon nanotubes and metal/oxides is expected to be applied in field emission displays, nanoelectronic devices, novel catalysts, and polymer or ceramic reinforcement. The synthesis of these composites is still largely based on conventional techniques, such as wet impregnation followed by chemical reduction of the metal nanoparticle precursors. These techniques based on thermal heating can be time consuming and often lack control of particle size and morphology. Hence, there is interest in microwave technology recently, where using microwaves represents an alternative way of power input into chemical reactions through dielectric heating. This paper covers the synthesis and applications of carbon-nanotube-coated metal/oxides nanoparticles prepared by a microwave-assisted method. The reviewed studies show that the microwave-assisted synthesis of the composites allows processes to be completed within a shorter reaction time with uniform and well-dispersed nanoparticle formation.