Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Brian Leonard

Abstract

Transition metal carbides are known to have interesting chemical and physical properties, however the majority of research into these compounds has focused on nano-structured materials and thin films. This report investigates the feasibility of producing pure carbides from macroscopically structured carbon sources with dimensions greater than 500 nm. The primary carbon sources for this investigation are buckypaper, a paper-like material composed of compressed multi-walled carbon nano-tubes (MWCNT’s), compressed discs of graphitic nano-platelets, and hollow carbon spheres. Through a novel synthetic method, pure carbides were produced from each of these carbon sources. These carbide materials were then investigated to determine if the morphology of the carbon starting material was maintained throughout the reaction. This report details the synthetic method and results of this investigation as well as some of the potential applications for these materials. Furthermore, it will explore some of the macroscopic physical properties present in the bulk material which have otherwise been unstudied.

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