Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Design, Fabrication and Application of Multi-Scale, Multi- Functional Nanostructured Carbon Fibers

Written By

Yang Liu, Chao Zhang and Xinyu Zhang

Submitted: November 17th, 2017 Reviewed: January 19th, 2018 Published: July 25th, 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.74215

Chapter metrics overview

1,392 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


To further improve and upgrade the existing functions of carbon fibers, and to endow the carbon fiber with new and desired functions, the most effective and economic way is to create nanostructures on the carbon fiber surface. The carbon fibers with nanostructures grown on the surface, or namely nanostructured carbon fibers, not only maintain the intrinsic high strength, light weight, high thermal conductivity of carbon fiber, but also obtain significant functional enhancements in mechanical properties, interfacial bonding and electrocatalytic property. Different kinds of nanostructures, such as nanoparticles, nanorods, nanotubes, nanosheets, and nanoflowers, are controllably grown on the surface of carbon fibers by using various kinds of techniques, including chemical vapor deposition (CVD), laser ablation, microwave treatment, and hydrothermal process. These multi-scale, multifunctional nanostructured carbon fibers not only add new and interesting branches to the carbon fiber family, but also pave the way for the application of carbon fibers in next-generation fiber-reinforced composite, energy storage device and green energy production.


  • surface growth
  • carbon fiber
  • nanostructures
  • fiber-reinforced composite
  • electrocatalyst

1. Introduction

Owning to its high mechanical strength, light weight and one-dimensional morphology, carbon fiber has become one of the most important materials in fabricating structural components and load-bearing parts, and has found wide-spread applications from the fields of automotive, sports, to aircrafts and aerospace shuttles. Perceived by its name, carbon fiber is composed of the elemental carbon (C). Different from graphite, which is composed of sheets of carbon atoms (graphene sheets) that parallelly stack on each other, the carbon fibers are composed of graphene sheets that twisted, folded and crumbled upon each other. Therefore, carbon fibers would have extremely high tensile strength and stiffness as compared to graphite. Carbon fibers are majorly produced from the precursors such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), rayon and petroleum pitch [1]. In a typical process, the precursors are spun and drawn to form filament yarns, which are subsequently subject to the pre-oxidation, thermal carbonization and graphitization processes. After the thermal carbonization process, the precursor filament yarns are converted to carbon filament yarns with high carbon contents (~92–99%). The carbon filament yarns produced from the carbonization process (1500–2000°C) generally exhibit high tensile strength while the ones produced from the graphitization process (2500–3000°C) generally exhibit high elastic modulus [2].

Due to its high mechanical strength, high modulus, thermal conductivity and low thermal expansion, carbon fibers are widely used in the high technology sectors, such as aerospace and nuclear engineering, where high performance under high damping, high temperature and corrosive environment is required [3]. However, in general engineering sectors and transportation, the application of carbon fiber is restrained by the cost and production rates, and it only appears in limited parts of the products, where high strength and light weight are needed. The final properties of carbon fibers are highly dependent on their precursors and different types of carbon fiber can be produced based on the specific requirements of application. For example, the carbon fiber produced from PAN has the highest tensile strength (Table 1), which is suitable for the high technology applications. On the other, the carbon fiber produced from cellulose may have lower tensile strength accompanied with low cost, which is suitable for general engineering applications (Table 2) [4].

Table 1.

Mechanical properties of PAN, pitch and rayon based carbon fibers [3].

Table 2.

Mechanical properties of cellulose based carbon fibers [4].

The properties of carbon fibers can be further improved by the growth of nanostructured materials on their surfaces, a process commonly known as “whiskerization” [5, 6, 7]. Techniques such as chemical vapor deposition, hydrothermal process and electrochemical deposition are usually employed to accomplish the nanostructure growth [8, 9, 10]. During the growth process, the nanostructures are directly formed on the surface layer of the carbon fibers, either through the pre-deposited “seed layer” or hydrophobic interaction. After the growth process, the as-grown nanostructures and the carbon fiber substrates integrate and form free-standing, binder-free multi-scale composites. Depending on the properties of the as-grown nanostructures, the applied functions of carbon fiber can be greatly enhanced and extended. For example, growth of carbon nanotubes or zinc oxide nanowires on the carbon fiber surface can significantly increase the tensile strength (133%) and interfacial strength (113%) of the fiber-reinforced composite prepared by using these carbon fibers [11, 12]. By growing metal oxide or metal dichalcogenide nanostructures on carbon fiber surface, the electrochemical catalytic and capacitive properties of carbon fibers can be substantially enhanced [13, 14]. Upon integrating the intrinsic high electrical and thermal conductivity, high mechanical strength and chemical inertness of carbon fibers with the nanostructured materials of high electrochemical activity, ideal bi-functional (anode and cathode) electrodes for metal-air batteries and water-splitting cells can be readily realized, which further extends the applications of carbon fiber to energy storage and green energy [15, 16]. This chapter will focus on the state-of-the-art design and growth of functional nanostructures on carbon fiber surface, as well as their advanced applications.


2. Nanostructures grown on carbon fiber for fiber-reinforced composites

Due to its excellent mechanical, thermal and chemical properties, carbon fibers are widely used for the fabrication of fiber-reinforced composites (FRC), forming high-performance structures and components for high-technology applications. However, the most frequent occurring cases for the failure of FRC known as fiber pull-out and delamination are caused by the internally weak bonding between the fibers and the polymeric matrix [17, 18]. In this regard, growth of secondary nanostructures on the surface of carbon fibers to improve the interfacial bonding between the fibers and matrix has been proposed [19, 20]. In order to obtain the desired enhancement in the interfacial bonding strength, three main factors should be considered, including: (i) the as-grown nanostructures should have intrinsically good mechanical properties, proper size range and high surface area, which can significantly increase the interfacial area between the fiber and matrix, as well as providing good anchoring strength; (ii) the nanostructures should be directly grown on the surface of carbon fibers to avoid the involvement of binders, as binders could affect the mechanical strength of the final composites; (iii) the process of growth should not deteriorate the intrinsic mechanical properties of carbon fibers.

2.1. Growth of nanocarbons

Due to their intrinsic affinity to the surface of carbon fibers, carbon nanomaterials (nanocarbons) have been grown on carbon fiber for the FRC application. For example, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on carbon fibers are speculated to improve the interfacial bonding in FRC due to the high mechanical strength, high surface area and good substrate adhesion [21]. Extensive research efforts have been devoted to grow CNTs on carbon fibers while the diameter, length and crystallinity of the as-grown CNTs can be effectively controlled [22, 23, 24, 25]. Techniques of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) are widely applied to grow CNTs on carbon fiber surface (Figure 1). In a typical process, the carbon fibers are firstly cleaned and desized in organic solvents by sonication, and then immersed in the catalyst solution at elevated temperature for absorbing and loading of the metal catalysts. Metals, such as iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), are the major catalysts used for the growth of CNTs [27, 28]. After the immersion and the subsequent drying process, the surface of carbon fiber is densely loaded with small metal particles, as shown in Figure 2. Afterwards, the metal-loaded carbon fibers are placed in a quartz tube furnace, which are subsequently heated in the presence of hydrogen (H2) and carbon source mixed stream (e.g., benzene, ethylene, acetylene) to accomplish the CNT growth. The flow rate of total gas streams is typically in the range between 100 mL min−1 and 300 mL min−1, and inert gas protection is required during the heating and cooling steps.

Figure 1.

Schematic illustration of the CVD process for growing CNTs [26].

Figure 2.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of (a) bare carbon fiber surface [11] and (b-c) Ni particle-loaded carbon fiber surface with increasing concentrations of the catalyst solution [24].

The as-grown CNTs exhibit long and curved shapes which wrapped around the longitudinal axis of the carbon fibers randomly, as shown in Figure 3. The morphology of the as-grown CNTs can be controlled by a wide-range of parameters including types of catalyst, catalyst concentration, gas flow rate, growth time and temperature. A brief summary of the relationship between the carbon fiber morphology and these parameters is provided in Table 3. Amongst these parameters, the catalyst concentration is speculated to play a major role since all the morphological related parameters (e.g., diameter, length, density) can be effectively tuned by it (Figure 4). It should be noted that there exists a proper range for tuning the growth parameters of CNTs, and beyond this range CNTs may not be properly grown [30]. Other than CNTs, carbon nanofibers (CNFs) can also be grown on the surface of carbon fiber by using the same chemical vapor deposition (CVD) procedures [31, 32, 33]. Different from CNTs, the CNFs is characterized as long nanofibers with solid core, and they would generally have higher aspect ratios than CNTs. It is speculated that by increasing the time of CVD the CNTs can be further grown into CNFs, as shown in Figure 5 [34].

Figure 3.

SEM and TEM images of CNTs grown on carbon fiber by using (a, d) Fe based catalyst [11], (b, e) Co based catalyst [22], and (c, f) Ni based catalyst [29].

Table 3.

Correlation between the morphology of CNTs and growth conditions. (+) represents in direct proportion while (−) represents in inverse proportion.

Figure 4.

Pattern films of CNTs grown by increasing catalyst concentrations: (a) 10 mM, (b) 25 mM, (c) 40 mM, (d) 70 mM; (e, f) 50 mM Fe(NO3)3•9H2O. Aligned CNTs grown perpendicular to the substrate surface can be observed in (e) and (f) with a width of 10 μm and height of 20 μm [30].

Figure 5.

SEM images of the CVD-grown (a, C) CNTs and (B, D) CNFs obtained from 10 min and 40 min at 900°C, respectively [34].

2.2. Growth of nanostructured metal oxides

Besides CNT and CNFs, metal oxide nanostructures are also grown on carbon fibers to improve their interfacial bonding strength, respectively [35, 36, 37]. The hydrothermal method is widely used to grow metal oxide nanostructures, as illustrated in Figure 6. Compared with the growth of nanocarbons, growing metal oxide nanostructures on carbon fibers by the hydrothermal method may obtain the advantages including: (i) higher degree of morphological control over the as-grown nanostructures can be achieved on the carbon fiber surface. In other words, higher structural uniformity and higher growth density can be readily achieved for the as-grown metal oxide nanostructures; (ii) the growth process of metal oxides is simpler and requires less instrumentation, the material and energy consumption are also less comparing with the thermal CVD process; (iii) by using the same growth protocol, different types of nanostructured metal oxides can be grown on the surface of carbon fibers. However, CNTs and CNFs grown by thermal CVD may still possess the pros including: (i) higher theoretically predicted improvement in the interfacial strength for FRC; (ii) higher surface area of the as-grown nanostructures, and (iii) better affinity or adhesion to the carbon fiber substrate [38]. Given the remarkable advantages of growing metal oxide nanostructures for FRC application, extensive research efforts have been made to investigate their growth process as well as their functional performance in FRC [39, 40, 41].

Figure 6.

Schematic illustration of a typical hydrothermal process that used for the synthesis of metal oxide [42].

During the hydrothermal process, the metal oxide “seeds” are firstly deposited on the surface of carbon fiber by immersing the carbon fibers in the solution of metal salts. Afterwards, the seed-loaded carbon fibers are annealed at elevated temperature in atmospheric pressure, in order to improve the adhesion between the seeds and the fibers. Then the treated carbon fibers are immersed in a “growth solution” which contains the metal salts and organic polyamines (e.g., hexamethylenetetramine, HMTA). The growth process is then proceeded by heating the solution in a glass beaker at elevated temperature on a hotplate. Or a stainless-steel autoclave can be used if higher temperature and pressure are needed. The zinc oxide (ZnO) and copper oxide (CuO) nanowires, titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorods synthesized by using the hydrothermal method are shown in Figure 7. Similar to the growth of nanocarbons, structural control over the as-grown metal oxide nanostructures can be achieved by tuning the concentration of the “seeding solution,” loading quantity of the metal oxide “seeds,” as well as the time of growth (Figure 7c and f).

Figure 7.

SEM images of metal oxide nanostructures grown on carbon fiber by using hydrothermal method: (a, d) ZnO nanowires, (b, e) TiO2 nanorods and (c, f) CuO nanowires [12, 36, 37]. The CuO nanowires in (c) were synthesized from 10 mM seeding solution while the nanowires in (f) were synthesized from 50 mM seeding solution.

2.3. Mechanical properties of carbon fibers with surface-grown nanostructures

The carbon fibers with carbon or metal oxide nanostructures grown on the surface are eventually subject to the mechanical testing, in order to reveal their functional performance in enhancing the interfacial bonding strength within the FRC and the mechanical strength of the whole FRC. In a typical process, the carbon fibers are chopped into smaller fibers with less dimensions (length ≦ 2 mm), which are subsequently mixed or blended with the matrix materials, such as epoxy and polypropylene. The mixtures are then cast in a mold with applied pressure and subsequently solidified by either curing or compression molding to form the FRC. Mechanical testing, including tensile strength, modulus, shear strength and compressive strength, are applied to the nanostructured carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites (CFRC) and the representative results are shown in Table 4. It is found that the as-grown CNTs and CNFs are capable of increasing the mechanical strength of the whole CFRC to a great extent, while the metal oxide nanowires can significantly improve the interfacial strength between the carbon fiber and polymer matrix.

MaterialsTensile strength (MPa)Modulus (GPa)Interfacial shear strength (MPa)Maximum increment (%)Reference
CNT-CF271.07133% in tensile strength[11]
ZnO NW3.3433.87113% in shear strength[12]
CNT17% in fracture toughness[23]
CuO NW42.8% in tensile strength[36]
TiO2 NR200.545% in tensile strength[37]
ZnO NW209.5% in loss factor[43]
ZnO NR50% in loss factor[44]
CNT300% in conductivity[45]
CNT510% in conductivity[46]
CNT56% in loss factor[47]
CNT69% decrease of crack propagation[48]
CNT18.145% in shear strength[49]
CNT127% in impact energy dissipation[50]
CNT30% in shear strength[51]
SiO2 NP5244% in shear strength[52]
Graphene173% in shear strength[53]

Table 4.

Mechanical properties of carbon fiber with different nanostructured materials grown on its surface. NW refers to nanowires while NR and NP refer to nanorods and nanoparticles, respectively. The “shear strength” shown in table refers to interfacial shear strength.


3. Nanostructures grown on carbon fibers for energy storage and green energy electrodes

Similar to the growth of metal oxides, secondary nanostructures composed of the compounds of transition metals and non-metals can also be grown on the surface of carbon fiber to extend its range of application to energy storage and green energy electrodes. The intrinsically high electrical and thermal conductivity, chemical inertness and flexibility make carbon fiber an ideal electrode substrate for the fabrication of high-performance hybrid electrodes that are capable of catalyzing targeted electrochemical reactions in harsh conditions effectively, efficiently and stably. The state-of-the-art research has been focused on using the carbon fiber hybrid electrodes in supercapacitors, lithium-ion batteries and water-splitting [54, 55, 56]. To accomplish the requirements for these applications, various types of hybrid catalysts have been grown on the surface of carbon fibers either by electrochemical deposition or electrodeless deposition. However, most of these materials can be categorized as the hybrids of transition metals and non-metals, including MnO2, MoS2, NiP, FeS2, CoSe2, NiCo2S4, etc., [54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59]. Similar to the growth of metal oxides, the hydrothermal method is widely adapted for growing the hybrid electrode catalysts. Other methods, such as in-situ redox process and thermal annealing, are also used to grow the hybrid catalysts [60, 61]. However, in order to obtain hybrid catalysts with desired elemental composition, additional steps such as vulcanization, selenization and phosphorization are required. The representative SEM images of the hybrid catalysts grown on carbon fibers are shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8.

SEM and magnified images of hybrid nanostructured catalysts on the surface of carbon fibers: (A, E) NiP nanoflakes; [56] (B, F) whisker-like MnO2 arrays; [62] (C, G) MoS2 nanosheets; [61] (D, H) Co3O4 nanonet [63].

Based on their elemental composition, the applications of the as-grown hybrid catalysts can be categorized as supercapacitor, lithium-ion battery and water-splitting. For example, the metal oxides (e.g., MnO2) are well-suited for supercapacitors and metal dichalcogenides (e.g., MoS2) with layered structures are suitable for lithium-ion batteries, while metal phosphorus based catalysts (e.g., NiP) are suitable for water splitting. The carbon fiber-based hybrid electrodes demonstrate high electrocatalytic performance in these applications, as shown in Table 5.

NiCo2S4 nanotubeSupercapacitorDischarge areal capacitance of 2.86 F cm−2 at 4 mA cm−2[54]
FeS2Lithium batteryDischarge density of 1300 Wh kg−1[55]
NiPWater splitting250 mV OP for 100 mA cm−2 cathodic current density; 0.3 V OP for OER current of 50.4 mA cm−2[56]
PPy-MnO2Supercapacitor69.3 F cm−3 at 0.1 A cm−3; 6.16 × 10−3 Wh cm−3 at 0.04 W cm−3[57]
MoS2 nanofilmWater splitting216 mV OP for 100 mA cm−2 cathodic current density[58]
CoSe2 NPWater splitting180 mV OP for 100 mA cm−2 cathodic current density[59]
MnO2SupercapacitorVolume capacitance of 2.5 F cm−3; energy density of 2.2 × 10−4 Wh cm−3[60]
MoS2 NSLithium-ion batteryDischarge capacity of 971 mA h g−1[61]
MnO2 arraysSupercapacitorCapacitance of 274.1 F g−1 at 0.1 A g−1[62]
Co3O4 nanonetSupercapacitorCapacitance of 1124 F g−1 at 25.34 A g−1[63]
MnO2SupercapacitorCapacitance of 467 F g−1 at 1 A g−1[64]
CuO NFSupercapacitorCapacitance of 839.9 F g−1 at 1 mV s−1; energy density of 10.05 Wh kg−1 and power density of 1798.5 W kg−1[65]
Nickel copper hydroxideSupercapacitor770 F g−1 at 5 mA cm−2; energy density of 33 Wh kg−1 at a power density of 170 W kg−1[41]
WP NRWater splitting230 mV OP for 100 mA cm−2 cathodic current density[66]

Table 5.

Applications and performance of different hybrid nanostructured catalysts grown on carbon fiber. OP refers to overpotential, while NS refers to nanosheets, NF refers to nanoflowers.


4. Conclusion and future work

The growth of nanostructured materials on the surface of carbon fibers can significantly improve the interfacial mechanisms of the carbon fiber-based composites as well as introducing additional advanced functions to the carbon fiber substrate. The growth of one dimensional nanocarbons and nanostructured metal oxides on carbon fibers results in greatly enhanced tensile strength, interfacial shear strength, impact resistance and damping when being used in fiber reinforced composites. On the other, by growing hybrid nanostructured catalysts on carbon fibers, high performance electrodes with outstanding electrocatalytic properties can be facilely prepared, which further extends the applications of carbon fiber-based electrodes to supercapacitors, lithium-ion batteries and water splitting cells. In order to further improve the functional performance of the carbon fibers grown with surface nanostructures, future research in the related fields should pay attention to tailor the morphology and composition, as well as the orientation, spacing and thickness of the as-grown nanostructure.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Sun Yat-sen University and Auburn University.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1. Park SJ, Heo G. Precursors and Manufacturing of carbon Fibers. In: Carbon Fibers. Springer Series in Materials Science. Vol. 210. Dordrecht: Springer; 2015. pp. 31-66
  2. 2. Frank E, Hermanutz F, Buchmeiser MR. Carbon fibers: Precursors, manufacturing, and properties. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering. 2012;297:493-501
  3. 3. Chand S. Carbon fibers for composites. Journal of Materials Science. 2000;35:1303-1313
  4. 4. Frank E, Steudle DLM, Ingildeev D, Spörl DJM, Buchmeiser MR. Carbon fibers: Precursor systems, processing, structure, and properties. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. 2014;53:5262-5298
  5. 5. Egashira M, Katsuki H, Ogawa Y, Kawasumi S. Whiskerization of carbon beads by vapor phase growth of carbon fibers to obtain sea urchin-type particles. Carbon. 1983;21:89-92
  6. 6. Kowbel W, Bruce C, Withers JC, Ransone PO. Effect of carbon fabric whiskerization on mechanical properties of C-C composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 1997;28:993-1000
  7. 7. Vishkaei MS, Salleh MAM, Yunus R, Biak DRA, Danafar F, Mirjalili F. Effect of short carbon fiber surface treatment on composite properties. Journal of Composite Materials. 2010;45:1885-1891
  8. 8. Felisberto M, Tzounis L, Sacco L, Stamm M, Candal R, Rubiolo GH, Goyanes S. Carbon nanotubes grown on carbon fiber yarns by a low temperature CVD method: A significant enhancement of the interfacial adhesion between carbon fiber/epoxy matrix hierarchical composites. Composites Communications. 2017;3:33-37
  9. 9. Huang F, Yan A, Sui Y, Wei F, Qi J, Meng Q, He Y. One-step hydrothermal synthesis of Ni3S4@MoS2 nanosheet on carbon fiber paper as a binder-free anode for supercapacitor.Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics. 2017;28:12747-12754
  10. 10. Wu MS, Guo ZS, Jow JJ. Highly Regulated electrodeposition of needle-like manganese oxide nanofibers on carbon fiber fabric for electrochemical capacitors. Physical Chemistry C. 2010;114:21861-21867
  11. 11. Suraya AR, Sharifah-Mazrah SMZ, Yunus R, Azowa IN. Growth of carbon nanotubes on carbon fibres and the tensile properties of resulting carbon fibre reinforced polypropylene composites. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology. 2009;4:400-408
  12. 12. Lin Y, Ehlert G, Sodano HA. Increased interface strength in carbon fiber composites through a ZnO nanowire interphase. Advanced Functional Materials. 2009;19:2654-2660
  13. 13. Sassin MB, Chervin CN, Rolison DR, Long JW. Redox deposition of nanoscale metal oxides on carbon for next-generation electrochemical capacitors. Accounts of Chemical Research. 2013;46:1062-1074
  14. 14. Liu Y, Ren L, Zhang Z, Qi X, Li H, Zhong J. 3D Binder-free MoSe2 nanosheets/carbon cloth electrodes for efficient and stable hydrogen evolution prepared by simple electrophoresis deposition strategy. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:22516
  15. 15. Liu Q, Wang Y, Dai L, Yao J. Scalable fabrication of nanoporous carbon fiber films as bifunctional catalytic electrodes for flexible Zn-Air batteries. Advanced Materials. 2016;28:3000-3006
  16. 16. Du S, Ren Z, Zhang J, Wu J, Xi W, Zhu J, Fu H. Co3O4 nanocrystal ink printed on carbon fiber paper as a large-area electrode for electrochemical water splitting. Chemical Communications. 2015;51:8066-8069
  17. 17. Sakai M, Matsuyama R, Miyajima T. The pull-out and failure of a fiber bundle in a carbon fiber reinforced carbon matrix composite. Carbon. 2000;38:2123-2131
  18. 18. Chen WC. Some experimental investigations in the drilling of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite laminates. International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture. 1997;37:1097-1108
  19. 19. Tang LG, Kardos JL. A review of methods for improving the interfacial adhesion between carbon fiber and polymer matrix. Polymer Composites. 1997;18:100-113
  20. 20. Thostenson ET, Li WZ, Wang DZ, Ren ZF, Chou TWJ. Carbon nanotube/carbon fiber hybrid multiscale composites. Journal of Applied Physics. 2002;91:6034-6037
  21. 21. Thostenson ET, Ren Z, Chou TW. Advances in the science and technology of carbon nanotubes and their composites: A review. Composites Science and Technology. 2001;61:1899-1912
  22. 22. Zhao J, Liu L, Guo Q, Shi J, Zhai G, Song J, Liu Z. Growth of carbon nanotubes on the surface of carbon fiber. Carbon. 2008;46:365-389
  23. 23. Liu Z, Wang J, Kushvaha V, Poyraz S, Tippur H, Park S, Kim M, Liu Y, Bar J, Chen H, Zhang X. Poptube approach for ultrafast carbon nanotube growth. Chemical Communications. 2011;47:9912-9914
  24. 24. Dey NK, Hong EM, Choi KH, Kim YD, Lim JH, Lee KH, Lim DC. Growth of carbon nanotubes on carbon fiber by thermal CVD using Ni nanoparticles as catalysts. Process Engineering. 2012;36:556-561
  25. 25. Greef ND, Zhang L, Magrez A, Forro L, Locquet JP, Verpoest I, Seo JW. Direct growth of carbon nanotubes on carbon fibers: Effect of the CVD parameters on the degradation of mechanical properties of carbon fibers. Diamond and Related Materials. 2015;51:39-48
  26. 26. Atchudan R, Perumal S, Edison TNJ, Pandurangan A, Lee YR. Synthesis and characterization of graphenated carbon nanotubes on IONPs using acetylene by chemical vapor deposition method. Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures. 2015;74:355-362
  27. 27. Homma Y, Kobayashi Y, Ogino T, Takagi D, Ito R, Jung YJ, Ajayan PM. Role of transition metal catalysts in single-walled carbon nanotube growth in chemical vapor deposition. The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B. 2003;107:12161-12164
  28. 28. Hofmann S, Blume R, Wirth CT, Cantoro M, Sharma R, Ducati C, Havecker M, Zafeiratos S, Schnoerch P, Oestereich A, Teschner D, Albrecht M, Knop-Gericke A, Schlogl R, Robertson J. State of transition metal catalysts during carbon nanotube growth. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2009;113:1648-1656
  29. 29. Tehrani M, Boroujeni AY, Luhrs C, Phillips J, Al-Haik MS. Hybrid composites based on carbon fiber/carbon nanofilament reinforcement. Materials. 2014;7:4182-4195
  30. 30. Kind M, Bonard JM, Forro L, Kern K. Printing gel-like catalysts for the directed growth of multiwall carbon nanotubes. Langmuir. 2000;16:6877-6883
  31. 31. Lim S, Yoon SH, Shimizu Y, Jung H, Mochida I. Surface Control of activated carbon fiber by growth of carbon nanofiber. Langmuir. 2004;20:5559-5563
  32. 32. Tzeng SS, Hung KH, Ko TH. Growth of carbon nanofibers on activated carbon fiber fabrics. Carbon. 2006;44:859-865
  33. 33. Ghaemi F, Ahmadian A, Yunus R, Ismail F, Rahmanian S. Effects of thickness and amount of carbon nanofiber coated carbon fiber on improving the mechanical properties of nanocomposites. Nanomaterials. 2016;6:6
  34. 34. Che G, Lakshmi BB, Martin CR, Fisher ER, Ruoff RS. Chemical vapor deposition based synthesis of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers using a template method. Chemistry of Materials. 1998;10:260-267
  35. 35. Ehlert GJ, Galan U, Sodano HA. Role of surface chemistry in adhesion between ZnO nanowires and carbon fibers in hybrid composites. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2013;5:635-645
  36. 36. Deka BK, Kong K, Seo J, Kim D, Park YB, Park HW. Controlled growth of CuO nanowires on woven carbon fibers and effects on the mechanical properties of woven carbon fiber/polyester composites. Composites: Part A. 2015;69:56-63
  37. 37. Fei J, Zhang C, Luo D, Cui Y, Li H, Lu Z, Huang J. Bonding TiO2 array on carbon fabric for outstanding mechanical and wear resistance of carbon fabric/phenolic composite. Surface and Coating Technology. 2017;317:75-82
  38. 38. Steiner SA. Carbon Nanotube Growth on Challenging Substrates: Application for Carbon-Fiber Composites. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2012
  39. 39. Sheveleva IV, Zemskova LA, Voit AV, Kuryavyi VG, Sergienko VI. Study of the formation and electrochemical properties of nickel oxide-carbon fiber composites obtained in the presence of surfactants. Russian Journal of Electrochemistry. 2011;47:1220-1226
  40. 40. Abdurhman AAM, Zhang Y, Zhang G, Wang S. Hierarchical nanostructured noble metal/metal oxide/graphene-coated carbon fiber: In situ electrochemical synthesis and use as microelectrode for real-time molecular detection of cancer cells. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2015;407:8129-8136
  41. 41. Zhang L, Gong H. A cheap and non-destructive approach to increase coverage/loading of hydrophilic hydroxide on hydrophobic carbon for lightweight and high-performance supercapacitors. Scientific Reports. 2015;5:18108
  42. 42. Dong N, He F, Xin J, Wang Q, Lei Z, Su B. A novel one-step hydrothermal method to prepare CoFe2O4/graphene-like carbons magnetic separable adsorbent. Materials Research Bulletin. 2016;80:186-190
  43. 43. Malakooti MH, Hwang HS, Sodano HA. Morphology-controlled ZnO nanowire arrays for tailored hybrid composites with high damping. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2015;7:332-339
  44. 44. Skandani AA, Masghouni N, Case SW, Leo DJ, Al-Haik M. Enhanced vibration damping of carbon fibers-ZnO nanorods hybrid composites. Applied Physics Letters. 2012;101:073111
  45. 45. Pozegic TR, Anguita JV, Hamerton I, Jayawardena KDGI, Chen JS, Stolojan V, Ballocchi P, Walsh R, Silva SRP. Multi-functional carbon fibre composites using carbon nanotubes as an alternative to polymer sizing. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:37334
  46. 46. Pozegic TR, Hamerton I, Anguita JV, Tang W, Ballocchi P, Jenkins P, Silva SRP. Low temperature growth of carbon nanotubes on carbon fibre to create a highly networked fuzzy fibre reinforced composite with superior electrical conductivity. Carbon. 2014;74:319-328
  47. 47. Tehrani M, Safdari M, Boroujeni AY, Razavi Z, Case SW, Dahmen K, Garmestani H, Al-Haik MS. Hybrid carbon fiber/carbon nanotube composites for structural damping applications. Nanotechnology. 2013;24:155704
  48. 48. Romhany G, Szebenyi G. Interlaminar fatigue crack growth behavior of MWCNT/carbon fiber reinforced hybrid composites monitored via newly developed acoustic emission method. Express Polymer Letters. 2012;6:572-580
  49. 49. Aziz S, Rashid SA, Rahmanian S, Salleh MA. Experimental evaluation of the interfacial properties of carbon nanotube coated carbon fiber reinforced hybrid composites. Polymer Composites. 2015;36:1941-1950
  50. 50. Boroujeni AY, Tehrani M, Nelson AJ, Al-Haik M. Effect of carbon nanotubes growth topology on the mechanical behavior of hybrid carbon nanotube/carbon fiber polymer composites. Polymer Composites. 2016;37:2639-2648
  51. 51. Bekyarova E, Thostenson ET, Yu A, Kim H, Gao J, Tang J, Hahn HT, Chou TW, Itkis ME, Haddon RC. Multiscale carbon nanotube–carbon fiber reinforcement for advanced epoxy composites. Langmuir. 2007;23:3970-3974
  52. 52. Qin W, Vautard F, Askeland P, Yu J, Drzal L. Modifying the carbon fiber–epoxy matrix interphase with silicon dioxide nanoparticles. RSC Advances. 2015;5:2457
  53. 53. Chi Y, Chu J, Chen M, Li C, Mao W, Piao M, Zhang H, Liu BS, Shi H. Directly deposited graphene nanowalls on carbon fiber for improving the interface strength in composites. Applied Physics Letters. 2016;108:211601
  54. 54. Xiao J, Wan L, Yang S, Xiao F, Wang S. Design hierarchical electrodes with highly conductive NiCo2S4 nanotube arrays grown on carbon fiber paper for high-performance pseudocapacitors. Nano Letters. 2014;14:831-838
  55. 55. Zhu Y, Fan X, Suo L, Luo C, Gao T, Wang C. Electrospun FeS2@carbon fiber electrode as a high energy density cathode for rechargeable lithium batteries. ACS Nano. 2016;10:1529-1538
  56. 56. Wang X, Li W, Xiong D, Petrovykh DY, Liu L. Bifunctional nickel phosphide nanocatalysts supported on carbon fiber paper for highly efficient and stable overall water splitting. Advanced Functional Materials. 2016;26:4067-4077
  57. 57. Tao J, Liu N, Ma W, Ding L, Li L, Su J, Gao Y. Solid-state high performance flexible supercapacitors based on polypyrrole-MnO2-carbon fiber hybrid structure. Scientific Reports. 2013;3:2286
  58. 58. Wang H, Lu Z, Xu S, Kong D, Cha JJ, Zheng G, Hsu PC, Yan K, Bradshaw D, Prinz FB, Cui Y. Electrochemical tuning of vertically aligned MoS2 nanofilms and its application in improving hydrogen evolution reaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013;110:19701-19706
  59. 59. Kong D, Wang H, Lu Z, Cui YJ. CoSe2 nanoparticles grown on carbon fiber paper: An efficient and stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction. American Chemical Society. 2014;136:4897-4900
  60. 60. Xiao X, Li T, Yang P, Gao Y, Jin H, Ni W, Zhan W, Zhang X, Cao Y, Zhong J, Gong L, Yen W, Mai W, Chen J, Huo K, Chueh Y, Wang Z, Zhou J. Fiber-based all-solid-state flexible supercapacitors for self-powered systems. ACS Nano. 2012;6:9200-9206
  61. 61. Wang C, Wan W, Huang Y, Chen J, Zhou H, Zhang X. Hierarchical MoS2 nanosheet/active carbon fiber cloth as a binder-free and free-standing anode for lithium-ion batteries. Nanoscale. 2014;6:5351
  62. 62. Luo Y, Jiang J, Zhou W, Yang H, Luo J, Qi X, Zhang H, Yu DYW, Li CM, Yu T. Self-assembly of well-ordered whisker-like manganese oxide arrays on carbon fiber paper and its application as electrode material for supercapacitors. Journal of Materials Chemistry. 2012;22:8634
  63. 63. Yang L, Cheng S, Ding Y, Zhu X, Wang ZL, Liu M. Hierarchical network architectures of carbon fiber paper supported cobalt oxide nanonet for high-capacity pseudocapacitors. Nano Letters. 2012;12:321-325
  64. 64. Cakici M, Reddy KR, Alonso-Marroquin F. Advanced electrochemical energy storage supercapacitors based on the flexible carbon fiber fabric-coated with uniform coral-like MnO2 structured electrodes. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2017;309:151-158
  65. 65. Xu W, Dai S, Liu G, Xi Y, Hu C, Wang X. CuO nanoflowers growing on carbon fiber fabric for flexible high-performance supercapacitors. Electrochimica Acta. 2016;203:1-8
  66. 66. Pu Z, Liu Q, Asiri AM, Sun X. Tungsten phosphide nanorod arrays directly grown on carbon cloth: A highly efficient and stable hydrogen evolution cathode at all pH values. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2014;6:21874-21879

Written By

Yang Liu, Chao Zhang and Xinyu Zhang

Submitted: November 17th, 2017 Reviewed: January 19th, 2018 Published: July 25th, 2018