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Highly Conductive Wire: Cu Carbon Nanotube Composite Ampacity and Metallic CNT Buckypaper Conductivity

  • Henry C. de Groh (a1)

Carbon nanotube (CNT) composites are being explored to improve the conductivity and density of electrical wire used in aviation. Presented are the current carrying capacity of a CNT-Cu composite and Roman spectroscopy and electrical conductivity of Buckypaper (BP) made of normal and sorted 95% metallic CNT (m-CNT). The ampacity of the Cu-CNT composite was 3.8% lower than pure Cu. This is significant because it is not in agreement with high CNT ampacity claims. The average conductivity of the CNT in the sorted, 95% metallic BP was 2.5 times higher than the CNT in the un-sorted BP. This shows the importance of the intrinsic CNT conductivity as opposed to interfacial resistances and that the conductivity of the semiconductor CNT present in the un-sorted BP must be much lower than the conductivity of m-CNT. The high conductivity of the sorted BP provides proof that conductivity improvements in CNT composites can be made by the use of sorted, highly conductive m-CNT.

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MRS Advances
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  • EISSN: 2059-8521
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