Industrially benign super-compressible piezoresistive carbon foams with predefined wetting properties: from environmental to electrical applications

Tung Ngoc Pham, Ajaikumar Samikannu, Jarmo Kukkola, Anne-Riikka Rautio, Olli Pitkänen, Aron Dombovari, Gabriela Simone Lorite, Teemu Sipola, Geza Toth, Melinda Mohl, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola, Krisztian Kordas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    In the present work electrically conductive, flexible, lightweight carbon sponge materials derived from open-pore structure melamine foams are studied and explored. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic surface properties - depending on the chosen treatment conditions - allow the separation and storage of liquid chemical compounds. Activation of the carbonaceous structures substantially increases the specific surface area from similar to 4 m(2)g(-1) to similar to 345 m(2)g(-1), while retaining the original three-dimensional, open-pore structure suitable for hosting, for example, Ni catalyst nanoparticles. In turn the structure is rendered suitable for hydrogenating acetone to 2-propanol and methyl isobutyl ketone as well for growing hierarchical carbon nanotube structures used as electric double-layer capacitor electrodes with specific capacitance of similar to 40 F/g. Mechanical stress-strain analysis indicates the materials are super-compressible (>70% volume reduction) and viscoelastic with excellent damping behavior (loss of 0.69 +/- 0.07), while piezoresistive measurements show very high gauge factors (from similar to 20 to 50) over a large range of deformations. The cost-effective, robust and scalable synthesis - in conjunction with their fascinating multifunctional utility - makes the demonstrated carbon foams remarkable competitors with other three-dimensional carbon materials typically based on pyrolyzed biopolymers or on covalently bonded graphene and carbon nanotube frameworks.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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