4 years ago

Influence of Carbon Nanotube Characteristics on Macroscopic Fiber Properties

Influence of Carbon Nanotube Characteristics on Macroscopic Fiber Properties
Natnael Behabtu, Dmitri E. Tsentalovich, Robert J. Headrick, Junli Hao, Francesca Mirri, Matteo Pasquali, Colin C. Young
We study how intrinsic parameters of carbon nanotube (CNT) samples affect the properties of macroscopic CNT fibers with optimized structure. We measure CNT diameter, number of walls, aspect ratio, graphitic character, and purity (residual catalyst and non-CNT carbon) in samples from 19 suppliers; we process the highest quality CNT samples into aligned, densely packed fibers, by using an established wet-spinning solution process. We find that fiber properties are mainly controlled by CNT aspect ratio and that sample purity is important for effective spinning. Properties appear largely unaffected by CNT diameter, number of walls, and graphitic character (determined by Raman G/D ratio) as long as the fibers comprise thin few-walled CNTs with high G/D ratio (above ∼20). We show that both strength and conductivity can be improved simultaneously by assembling high aspect ratio CNTs, producing continuous CNT fibers with an average tensile strength of 2.4 GPa and a room temperature electrical conductivity of 8.5 MS/m, ∼2 times higher than the highest reported literature value (∼15% of copper’s value), obtained without postspinning doping. This understanding of the relationship of intrinsic CNT parameters to macroscopic fiber properties is key to guiding CNT synthesis and continued improvement of fiber properties, paving the way for CNT fiber introduction in large-scale aerospace, consumer electronics, and textile applications.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b10968

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b10968

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