ABSTRACT We determined the catalytic function of chemically modified fly ash (MFA) for the growth of carbon nanotube (CNT) ropes with ~54% yield by the pyrolysis of the composite film of poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) at 500°C for 10 min under 2 L/min flow of nitrogen. Fly ash was treated with 2M sodium hydroxide to have MFA and used with PVA to fabricate the composite film by aqua casting. CNT was analyzed using SEM, TEM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy. The growths of CNT on MFA surfaces were visualized with different geometric self-assembly, e.g., bundles of CNT in ropes, twisted ropes, Y-branch ropes and staked-cone sheet. Thus, the mixtures of CNT ropes and MFA are a potential filler material for fabricating composites with polymer and metal.
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