Composite yarns of multi-walled carbon nanotubes with metallic electrical conductivity

Randeniya, Lakshman K. and Bendavid, Avi and Martin, Philip J. and Tran, Canh-Dung (2010) Composite yarns of multi-walled carbon nanotubes with metallic electrical conductivity. Small, 6 (16). pp. 1806-1811. ISSN 1613-6810

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Unique macrostructures known as spun carbon-nanotube fibers (CNT yarns) can be manufactured from vertically aligned forests of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). These yarns behave as semiconductors with room-temperature conductivities of about 5x102 S cm-1. Their potential use as, for example, microelectrodes in medical implants, wires in microelectronics, or lightweight conductors in the aviation industry has hitherto been hampered by their insufficient electrical conductivity. In this Full Paper, the synthesis of metal–CNT composite yarns, which combine the unique properties of CNT yarns and nano-crystalline metals to obtain a new class of materials with enhanced electrical conductivity, is presented. The synthesis is achieved using a new technique, self-fuelled electro deposition (SFED), which combines a metal reducing agent and an external circuit for transfer of electrons to the CNT surface, where the deposition of metal nano-particles takes place. In particular, the Cu–CNT and Au–CNT composite yarns prepared by this method have metal-like electrical conductivities (2–3 x 105 S cm-1) and are mechanically robust against stringent tape tests. However, the tensile strengths of the composite yarns are 30–50% smaller than that of the unmodified CNT yarn. The SFED technique described here can also be used as a convenient means for the deposition of metal nano-particles on solid electrode supports, such as conducting glass or carbon black, for catalytic applications.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2011 04:27
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon nanotubes; electrical conductivity; nano-composites; nano-crystalline materials; self-fuelled electro deposition
Fields of Research : 10 Technology > 1007 Nanotechnology > 100707 Nanomanufacturing
02 Physical Sciences > 0204 Condensed Matter Physics > 020406 Surfaces and Structural Properties of Condensed Matter
10 Technology > 1007 Nanotechnology > 100708 Nanomaterials
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/smll.201000493

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