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Alignment of Carbon Nanotubes in Carbon Nanotube Fibers Through Nanoparticles: A Route for Controlling Mechanical and Electrical Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2017, 00:00 by Muhammad Mohsin Hossain, Md. Akherul Islam, Hossain Shima, Mudassir Hasan, Moonyong Lee
This is the first study that describes how semiconducting ZnO can act as an alignment agent in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) fibers. Because of the alignment of CNTs through the ZnO nanoparticles linking groups, the CNTs inside the fibers were equally distributed by the attraction of bonding forces into sheetlike bunches, such that any applied mechanical breaking load was equally distributed to each CNT inside the fiber, making them mechanically robust against breaking loads. Although semiconductive ZnO nanoparticles were used here, the electrical conductivity of the aligned CNT fiber was comparable to bare CNT fibers, suggesting that the total electron movement through the CNTs inside the aligned CNT fiber is not disrupted by the insulating behavior of ZnO nanoparticles. A high degree of control over the electrical conductivity was also demonstrated by the ZnO nanoparticles, working as electron movement bridges between CNTs in the longitudinal and crosswise directions. Well-organized surface interface chemistry was also observed, which supports the notion of CNT alignment inside the fibers. This research represents a new area of surface interface chemistry for interfacially linked CNTs and ZnO nanomaterials with improved mechanical properties and electrical conductivity within aligned CNT fibers.