Image icon  Carbon nanotubes

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Description: It is necessary to form a stable dispersion of nanotubes in order to properly integrate them into polymeric systems. This can be achieved by treating them with acid to oxidise the tube surfaces. The tubes will then spontaneously disperse in an aqueous medium. The viscosity of these suspensions is analogous to that of polymers; it increases gradually with concentration up to a critical point (at about 0.7 vol%) where entanglement occurs. However, their separation is determined more by surface repulsions than by entropy arising from chain flexibility. Their stiffness suggests that parallel clusters might be a natural state for aggregation but it also means that any deviations form straightness of the tubes (due to defects) will compromise significant tube parallelism. This image was taken using a field emission gun scanning electron microscope (FEGSEM).
Keywords: carbon • carbon nanotube • dispersion • film • nanotube • order • polymer • suspension
Categories: Science approaches > Microstructure
Product Forms > Long > Fibre & filament
Testing, analysis & experimentation > Metallography
Scale > Nano(-materials)
Scale > Micro
Created by: DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
Prof A H Windle, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Published by: DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
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Date created: 03 October 2002
Date added: 21 August 2009
Resource ID: 1596