Rayon-based carbon fiber (RCF) and lyocell-based carbon fiber (LCF) were investigated through surface analysis by SEM and STM. SEM delineated much smoother surface of LCF, while RCF exhibited rough surface with obvious cracks and grooves, which undoubtedly lead to the tensile strength decrease of RCF. At 500nm×500nm area using STM, it was found that the surfaces of LCF are characterized by bulk structure with the area of about 150nm2. The bulk structure was constituted of smaller slug-like microstructures, each of which has a width of about 25 nm and length of 150 nm aligned at an angle of 45° to the fiber axis. The distance between two adjacent carbon atoms of LCF estimated by section analysis of STM revealed that hexagonal carbon rings did not form on the surface of LCF.

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