Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)

DoITPoMS Micrograph Library Full Record for Micrograph 561

Full Record for Micrograph 561

Link to full size image of micrograph 561
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Micrograph no
Brief description
Ordered film of carbon nanotubes
alignment, carbon, carbon nanotube, dispersion, film, nanotube Link to MATTER Glossary entry for nanotube, order, polymer Link to MATTER Glossary entry for polymer, suspension Link to MATTER Glossary entry for suspension
Ceramic, Polymer
Carbon nanotube
Not specified
Standard codes
A dilute (<0.3 vol%) suspension of nanotubes is filtered through a 0.2 mm membrane to form a solid film.
Carbon nanotubes may be considered a high performance mechanical polymer or an electrically conducting polymer but their greatest potential is in gas storage or as a filler in polymeric materials
Sample preparation
Solid nanotube films were prepared by filtration onto a 0.2 mm membrane filter under 0.6 bar negative pressure
Field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEGSEM)
Length bar
400 nm
Further information
It is necessary to form a stable dispersion of nanotubes in order to properly integrate them into polymeric systems. This can be achieved by treating them with acid to oxidise the tube surfaces. The tubes will then spontaneously disperse in an aqueous medium. The viscosity of these suspensions is analogous to that of polymers; it increases gradually with concentration up to a critical point (at about 0.7vol%) where entanglement occurs. A solid nanotube film has been formed by filtering the suspension through a 0.2mm membrane filter. Suspensions of relatively high concentration (>0.3vol%) yield films with random tube orientations but at lower concentrations (as in this sample), liquid crystal aggregation occurs and there is noticeable mutual alignment. The films exhibiting such alignment are tougher. This image was taken using a field emission gun scanning electron microscope (FEGSEM).
Prof A H Windle
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Licence for re-use
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