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Developments in Polymer /Carbon Nanotube Composite Films and Fibers (invited presentation)

S. Kumar
Georgia Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: CNT composite films


Polymer/carbon nanotube composite films and fibers have been processed using polymers such as polyacrylonitrile(PAN), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), poly(ether ether ketone) (PEK) and biopolymers such as DNA, silk, and cellulose. Single wall carbon nanotubes, multi wall carbon nanotubes, as well as vapor grown carbon nano fibers have been used in these studies. Composite films have been processed that contain up to 90% carbon nanotubes and continuous fibers have been processed that contain up to 30 wt% carbon nanotubes. Carbon fibers from PAN/CNT precursor fibers have been processed with significantly improved mechanical properties when compared to the carbon fibers processed from only PAN precursor. Carbon nanotubes act as a template for polymer orientation and nucleating agent for polymer crystallization. Films and fibers with electrical conductivity as high as 100,000 s/m have been processed, and these materials are also expected to be good candidates for thermal conductivity applications. Mesoporous PAN/CNT electrodes have been processed for supercapacitor electrodes with specific capacitance exceeding 300 F/g.
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