Functional Nanocomposites of Spinnable Carbon Nanotubes Synthesis, Processing and Applications




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The ability to dry-draw carbon nanotube aerogels from carbon nanotube forests has made it possible to use their individual properties at the macroscale. Light, strong, and conductive, carbon nanotube aerogels are a promising material in the development of electrodes, flexible electronics, solar coatings, cell scaffolds, muscles, and actuators whose properties can be finetuned at the synthetic level. In this dissertation, attention is given to the synthesis of spinnable multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) forests with fine-tuned properties for the design and development of novel composites by chemical vapor deposition methods. As the optical and electrical properties of MWNTs aerogels are dependent on the height and density of the forest they are dry-spun from, correct synthesis of MWNT forests is needed to obtain aerogels for a specific technology. The tunable properties of MWNT aerogels make them suitable for applications where solar selectivity is needed as their solar absorption can be tuned by adjusting the sheet areal density and the number of stackable aerogels. The optoelectrical properties of MWNT aerogels are enhanced by spray-coating solutions of silver nanowires in isopropyl alcohol that result in new electrical pathways formed between the carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires. The improvement of transparency occurs at the aerogel scale when subjected to isopropyl alcohol densifications, which develops tension forces between MWNT bundles that allow the formation of apertures.



Carbon nanotubes, Nanoscience, Aerogels, Condensed matter


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