Microtech2010 2010

Carbon Nanotube Light Weight Electrical Conductors (invited presentation)

D.S. Lashmore, B. White, C. Lombard
Nanocomp, US

Keywords: coaxial cables, high frequency, wires, power tranmission


Nanocomp Technologies has developed a continuous process to produce tens of kilometers of conductive carbon nanotube wire, and insulation process as well as CNT tape EMI shielding. Further we have found that doping CNT wire will have a profound effect on electrical conduction. Techniques to braid or ply CNT fibers to yield wires of any diameter suggest that cables of arbitrary current carrying capacity can be fabricated. Hybrid copper CNT cables have demonstrated a specific conductivity better than pure copper at even DC frequencies. We have found at higher frequencies that the impedance decreases, unlike copper or aluminum, where the skin effect gives rise to an increase in impedance. This phenomenon makes CNT wire particularly useful where skin effects limit performance. The temperature coefficient of conductivity of CNT wires is very small compared with copper or aluminum so at higher temperatures, even up to 150C, CNT materials have better performance than aluminum or copper. In addition CNT wires have very high breaking strengths, are resistance to fatigue, and immune from corrosion in chloride environments. This paper will discuss properties of coaxial cables fabricated using carbon nanotube cores and carbon nanotube tape EMI shielding under a variety of temperature and current density environments. This work has been funded under an Air Force SBIR Phase II contract FA8650-09-C-2909.
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