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The Mechanical Response of Arrays of Carbon Nanotubes Coated with Metallic Shells

  • Mohamad B. Zbib (a1) (a2), Matthew Howard (a1) (a3), Michael R. Maughan (a1) (a4), Nicolas J. Briot (a5), T. John Balk (a5) and David F. Bahr (a1)...

A synthesis method to form foams consisting of a shell of metals conformally coated on carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays by electroplating from a single bath electrolyte is demonstrated in this work. A triple cyclic pulse electrodeposition technique was used to deposit Ni and Cu layers on the CNT arrays, and electron microscopy was then used to identify conditions amenable to semi-conformal and island growth morphologies. Nanoindentation of the resulting metallic-CNT composite foam structure, using a flat punch/compression geometry, demonstrates that adding metallic shells to the CNT turf to create a metallic low density foam increases both the hardness and elastic modulus; however, once island growth initiates there is no significant subsequent increase in mechanical properties with increases in deposited metals.

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