Statistical Electron Microscopy, Rheometric Studies of Carbon Nanotube Solutions in Chlorosulfonic Acid and Characterization of Wire, Planar Antennas Manufactured from Macroscopic Carbon Nanotube Materials
Bengio, Amram E.
Doctor of Philosophy
Ever since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been a topic of active scientific research. These tubular molecules of graphitic carbon display a unique amalgamation of mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. However, their strong inter-molecular van der Waals attractions have limited the range of solvents that can be used to prepare CNT dispersions. This has stymied efforts geared towards scaling up processing of CNT materials. The work reported here relies on the dispersion of CNTs in a true solvent: chlorosulfonic acid. This thesis focuses firstly on the development of statistical electron microscopy techniques to quantitatively estimate the length distribution of CNTs and qualitatively assess the alignment of CNTs in solution. Secondly, a rheometric study of the CNT fluid phase is presented, with an emphasis on relaxation dynamics of the CNT network and liquid crystalline phase. Finally, wire and planar antennas manufactured from fiber spinning and shear-coating of these CNT solutions are designed and their performance is shown to match that of equivalent copper antennas at frequencies suited for wireless communication.