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Preparation and characterization of carbon nanotube films and fibers for determining the thermal conductivity at different temperatures
  • Christopher Brown,
  • Junjie Chen
Christopher Brown
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, University of California, Davis, California, 95616, United States
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Junjie Chen
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, University of California, Davis, California, 95616, United States

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Novel chemical, electrical, and mechanical properties absent in other materials have been discovered in carbon nanotubes. Pristine carbon nanotubes are inert to most chemicals and need to be grafted with surface functional groups to increase their chemical reactivity and add new properties. The increasing popularity of carbon nanotubes has created a demand for greater scientific understanding of the characteristics of thermal transport in nanostructured materials. However, the effects of impurities, misalignments, and structure factors on the thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube films and fibers are still poorly understood. Carbon nanotube films and fibers were produced, and the parallel thermal conductance technique was employed to determine the thermal conductivity. The effects of carbon nanotube structure, purity, and alignment on the thermal conductivity of carbon films and fibers were investigated to understand the characteristics of thermal transport in the nanostructured material. The importance of bulk density and cross-sectional area was determined experimentally. The results indicated that single-walled carbon nanotube films and fibers generally have high thermal conductivity. The presence of non-carbonaceous impurities degrades the thermal performance due to the low degree of bundle contact. The prepared carbon nanotube films and fibers are very efficient at conducting heat. The structure, purity, and alignment of carbon nanotubes play a fundamentally important role in determining the heat conduction properties of carbon films and fibers. The thermal conductivity may present power law dependence with temperature. The specific thermal conductivity decreases with increasing bulk density. The specific thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube fibers is significantly higher than that of carbon nanotube films due to the increased degree of bundle alignment. At room temperature, a maximum specific thermal conductivity is obtained but Umklapp scattering occurs.
Keywords: Thermal properties; Preparation; Carbon films; Carbon fibers; Characterization; Thermal conductivity