Term: Carbon nanofiber

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**Carbon Nanofibers Overview:**
– Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) are nanostructures with enhanced thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties.
– Synthesized primarily through catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) using iron catalysts.
– Existence at the nanometer scale necessitates specialized microscopic examination techniques.
– Historical development dates back to the 1880s, with significant advancements in the 20th century.
– Offer diverse applications in drug delivery, lithium-ion batteries, and various research fields.

**Safety and Health Considerations:**
– Carbon nanofibers pose respiratory health risks and potential carcinogenic effects.
– Hazard identification is challenging due to CNF diversity.
– Recommended exposure limit is 1 μg/m of respirable size fraction elemental carbon.
– Protective equipment includes nitrile gloves and particle respirators.
– Emphasis on occupational safety guidelines and exposure assessments by organizations like NIOSH.

**Synthesis and Manufacturing Techniques:**
– CCVD is a dominant method for CNF synthesis, involving gas decomposition, carbon deposition, and fiber growth.
– Nanofiber diameter is influenced by catalyst size, with iron commonly used.
– Bulk production for various engineering applications achieved through CCVD and electrospinning.
– Continuous carbon nanofibers made through polyacrylonitrile electrospinning and carbonization.
– Composite materials with optimized properties are beneficial for applications like water purification.

**Field Electron Emission and Applications:**
– Field electron emission is induced by electrostatic fields and has various applications.
– Applications include sensors for chemical vapor detection, anodes for lithium-ion batteries, and gene delivery platforms.
– Nanofibers used as carrier materials for catalysts in petrochemistry and in scanning probe microscopy.
– Nanocarbon-activated carbon composites and electrodes for electroanalytical processes are common applications.
– Manufacturing techniques involve the growth of aligned and continuous nanofibers from nanotubes and benzene decomposition.

**Research and Development in Nanofiber Technology:**
– Focus on fabrication techniques, growth processes, and structural analysis of carbon nanofibers.
– Research on electron emission in intense electric fields and occupational exposure assessments.
– Exploration of related technologies like scanning probe microscopy and carbon filament manufacture.
– Study of carbon nanofiber properties in electroanalytical processes and thermal decomposition of carbon oxide.
– Implications for various industries and research fields, emphasizing advancements and ongoing studies.

Carbon nanofiber (Wikipedia)

Carbon nanofibers (CNFs), vapor grown carbon fibers (VGCFs), or vapor grown carbon nanofibers (VGCNFs) are cylindrical nanostructures with graphene layers arranged as stacked cones, cups or plates. Carbon nanofibers with graphene layers wrapped into perfect cylinders are called carbon nanotubes.

Regular carbon nanofibers.
Stacked-cup carbon nanofiber: electron micrograph (left) and model (right).

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