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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 585983, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Two Purification Pretreatments on Electroless Copper Coating over Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

1Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Green Materials for Light Industry, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
2School of Science, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
3Capital Aerospace Machinery Corporation, Beijing 100076, China

Received 11 October 2014; Revised 14 December 2014; Accepted 14 December 2014; Published 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Renyun Zhang

Copyright © 2014 Zhong Zheng 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.


To achieve the reinforcement of copper matrix composite by single-walled carbon nanotubes, a three-step-refluxing purification of carbon nanotubes sample with HNO3-NaOH-HCl was proposed and demonstrated. A previously reported purification process using an electromagnetic stirring with H2O2/HCl mixture was also repeated. Then, the purified carbon nanotubes were coated with copper by the same electroless plating process. At the end, the effects of the method on carbon nanotubes themselves and on copper coating were determined by transmission electron microscope spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, and energy dispersive spectrometry. It was clearly confirmed that both of the two processes could remove most of iron catalyst particles and carbonaceous impurities without significant damage to carbon nanotubes. The thermal stability of the sample purified by H2O2/HCl treatment was slightly higher than that purified by HNO3-NaOH-HCl treatment. Nevertheless, the purification by HNO3-NaOH-HCl treatment was more effective for carboxyl functionalization on nanotubes than that by H2O2/HCl treatment. The Cu-coating on carbon nanotubes purified by both purification processes was complete, homogenous, and continuous. However, the Cu-coating on carbon nanotubes purified by H2O2/HCl was oxidized more seriously than those on carbon nanotubes purified by HNO3-NaOH-HCl treatment.