Download Full Text (324 KB)


Carbon is very versatile element with various allotropic forms such as graphite, diamond, nanotubes and fullerene. While new carbon structures have been discovered, coiled shaped carbon fibers, or carbon microcoils (CMCs) might be potential materials for micro heating element for medical treatment, fabricating tunable electronics, bio-activators and fillers for composites.In this study, CMCs were prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique using nickel catalyst in gas mixture (acetylene, hydrogen and argon) with a small amount of sulfur additives. The effect of temperature, time, gas flow rate and sulfur additive on the growth of CMCs formation were explored. It is found that the micro-coils quality and their uniformity are strongly depended on the amount of sulfur additive and temperature. CMCs were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and micro Raman techniques. For biological application, CMCs were functionalized to improve their water solubility and their toxicity was tested using mouse embryonic stem (MES) cells. The toxicity of CMCs was evaluated by phase contrast, alkaline phosphatase (AP) staining assay and JC1 mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) assay. The results indicated that CMCs have very limited impact to MES cells properties, and the medical application of CMCs will be safe.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Yiling Hong

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stander Symposium poster

Synthesis and Properties of Carbon Microcoils