Carbon nanotube composites for thermal management

Research paper by M. J. Biercuk, M. C. Llaguno, M. Radosavljevic, J. K. Hyun, J. E. Fischer, A. T. Johnson

Indexed on: 20 May '02Published on: 20 May '02Published in: Physics - Materials Science


Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were used to augment the thermal transport properties of industrial epoxy. Samples loaded with 1 wt% unpurified SWNT material show a 70% increase in thermal conductivity at 40K, rising to 125% at room temperature; the enhancement due to 1 wt% loading of vapor grown carbon fibers is three times smaller. Electrical conductivity data show a percolation threshold between 0.1 and 0.2 wt% SWNT loading. The Vickers hardness rises monotonically with SWNT loading up to a factor of 3.5 at 2 wt%. These results suggest that the thermal and mechanical properties of SWNT-epoxy composites are improved, without the need to chemically functionalize the nanotubes.