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Strong, Light, Multifunctional Fibers of Carbon Nanotubes with Ultrahigh Conductivity

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Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 182-186
DOI: 10.1126/science.1228061

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  1. Fig. 1

    (A) Light micrograph of a birefringent fiber spinning dope (3 wt % CNT in chlorosulfonic acid). (B) Fiber spinning set-up. The fluid is extruded from the spinning chamber (left) through a spinneret immersed in a coagulation bath; the fiber is continuously collected on the winding drum (right). (C) Winding drums with collected fibers (100 to 500 m on each drum). (D and E) Close-up view of a single- and 19- filament spinning.

  2. Fig. 2

    Properties of continuous, neat CNT fibers. Black denotes literature values (7, 8, 9, 22, 23, 30, 33), blue denotes earlier wet-spun 0.5-μm CNT fibers (14), and red denotes fibers in this report. (A) Comparison of properties normalized to the highest value. (B) Ashby plots of specific tensile strength versus specific electrical conductivity of metals (gray diamonds), pitch (GF) and PAN (CF) carbon fibers (gray squares), nickel-coated CF (gray triangles), CNT fibers (black and blue squares), and CNT fibers from this report (red circle). Carbon and CNT fibers fall in a high-strength, low-conductivity region; metals define a high-conductivity, low-strength region. (C) Specific electrical conductivity versus specific thermal conductivity Ashby plot, showing distinct regions for metals and carbon fiber.

  3. Fig. 3

    (A) High- and (B) low-magnification SEM showing the typical morphology of CNT fibers composed of ~100-nm-thick fibrils aligned along the fiber axis. (C) Single-fiber x-ray diffraction (inset) and azimuthal scan showing the high fiber alignment. (D and E) SEM images showing fiber’s cross section after cutting by focused ion beam. There are no micrometer-sized voids and few hundred-nanometer–sized voids. (F) Single-fibril TEM micrograph and electron diffraction (inset) showing near-crystalline packing within a fibril.

  4. Fig. 4

    (A) Temperature dependence of electrical and (B) thermal conductivity of acid-doped, annealed, and iodine-doped fibers and an annealed random film. (C) A 46-g light-emitting diode lit and suspended by two 24-μm-thick CNT fibers. (D) Field emission set-up, with a single-fiber cathode facing the anode. (E) Current density versus field strength of GF (gray), wet-spun 0.5-μm CNT fiber (blue) and our CNT fiber (red). (F) The I-V data in simplified Fowler-Nordheim coordinates fall on a straight line, indicating metallic field emission.