Carbon Nano-Onions / Multi-Layer Fullerenes

Cogent NanoMaterials has applied the proprietary, patented Ionic Gasification technology developed by its sister company Cogent Energy Systems to produce commercial carbon nano-onions (CNOs), also known as multi-layer or multi-shell fullerenes. Cogent defines CNOs as “concentrically layered polyhedral graphitized carbon nanoparticles, generally forming a spherical shape”.  Cogent has demonstrated the ability to produce CNOs ranging in a size range between 20-50 nm.  High concentrations of these particles within the recovered material can easily be accomplished in multi-gram quantities using simple carbon black feedstock.

Cogent NanoMaterials can now provide the market with a new source of carbon nano-onions in quantities previously unavailable.

Carbon nano onions (CNOs) have attracted considerable interest in recent years due to their unique structures and properties. CNOs, composed of multi-layered concentric graphitic shells, have large specific surface areas.

These unique structures make CNOs suitable to specific applications.

  • CNOs’ good electrical conductivity and large specific surface area make them applicable as electrode materials and supercapacitors. 
  • CNOs’ excellent biocompatibility makes them useful in biosensing and detection. 
  • CNOs also can be used in oxidative dehydrogenation and oxygen reduction catalytic systems.
  • CNOs can be used to store and quickly release electrolyte ions in hydrogen storage materials. 
  • CNOs’ low friction, high stability and strong mechanical properties make them useful as solid lubricants.

Current methods for synthesis of CNOs have resulted in significant contaminants. Some of these methods include:

  • Chemical vapor deposition (although this method generates contaminated particles encapsulated in carbon cages). 
  • Arc discharge between two graphite rods submerged in deionized water without metallic catalysts (this also includes a mixture of impurities, including amorphous carbon, graphite fragments, and carbon nanotubes). 
  • Thermal annealing of nano-diamonds (these too are contaminated with particles of the origination nano-diamonds)
  • Detonation synthesis via liquid carbon condensation. 

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