Production of TiO2 Coated Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes by the Sol-Gel Technique

In recent years, efforts in developing high strength-low density materials are increasing significantly. One of the promising materials to attend this demand is the carbon nanotube (CNT), to be used mainly as a reinforcing phase in lightweight metal matrix composites (MMC). In the present work, the sol-gel technique has been employed to obtain TiO2 coating on the surface of commercial multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The aim of such coating is to improve the thermal stability of MWCNT in oxidize environment, which is necessary in most of MMC processing routes. Calcination in inert atmosphere was performed in order to crystallize a stable coating phase. The hybrid CNT/TiO2 nanocomposite was characterized by X-Ray Diffractometry (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Thermogravimetry (TGA) and Field Emission Gun - Scanning Electron Microscopy (FEG-SEM). The coating structure was observed to change from anatase to rutile, as the calcination temperature increases from 500 to 1000°C. Results from thermogravimetric analysis showed that the samples calcined at 1000 ºC were more resistant to oxidation at high temperatures.