Carbon Nanotube/Polymer Composites

Authored by: Klaus D. Sattler , Hua Deng , Asa H. Barber , Ton Peijs

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075526
eBook ISBN: 9781420075533
Adobe ISBN:


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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted great enthusiasm among researchers due to their extraordinary mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. The use of polymers filled with CNTs is especially interesting as an extension of research on composites. The number of publications on CNTs and CNT/polymer composites has increased dramatically in recent years (see Figure 1.1). Size in nanotubes has an immediate advantage; for example, the increase in surface area of CNTs relative to traditional fibers leads to greater interaction between the fiber and the surrounding polymer matrix when they are incorporated within polymer composites. Considerable mechanical reinforcement of polymers with CNTs is of particular advantage and is a result of composites because of the inherent mechanical properties of the nanotubes themselves. The high aspect ratio (near 1000) and outstanding conductivity of CNTs can result in ultralow electrical percolation threshold in polymer composites. Finally, due to the one-dimensional structure of CNTs, oriented CNT/polymer composite fibers or tapes have also generated interest, as such oriented systems can result in high reinforcing efficiency as well as excellent uniaxial conductivity [1]. A number of review papers and books have been published on CNT-reinforced polymer composites for further reference [28].

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