1Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, 15875-4413 Tehran, Iran
2Department of Materials Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology (IUT), Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran
3Materials and Energy Research Center, P. O. Box 14155-4777, Tehran, Iran
Catalytically graphitized electrospun carbon nanofibers adorned uniformly with fine nickel nanoparticles were successfully prepared. The procedure was based on the electrospinning technique and the use of nickel precursor to create both graphitized nanofibers and nickel nanoparticles under a relatively low-temperature heat treatment. The X-ray diffraction and Raman results clearly proved catalytic graphitization of polymer-based carbon fibers in the presence of nickel catalyst. Taking the results from scanning and transmission electron microscopies and X-ray diffraction into account, it was inferred that during the heat treatment, nickel atoms have diffused through the nanofibers and formed fine nickel nanoparticles on the surface of graphitized nanofibers to make a well stabilized heterogeneous nanostructure. The results from Brunauer–Emmett–Teller technique also showed a high surface area value of 140.2 m2g-1 for the obtained structure. All these attributes along with the fibrous and porous structure enable the product to serve as a potential candidate in the catalysis applications.