Thermal conductivity enhancement of carbon@ carbon nanotube arrays and bonded carbon nanotube network
Journal article, 2019

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are long considered as a promising material for thermal applications. However, problems such as low volume CNT fraction abhorrent to practical applications have been raising the demand for novel architecture of this material. Here we demonstrate two fabrication methods, in which a self-assembly method for fabricating covalent-bonded CNT network (3D CNT) and another method for covalent-bonded C to CNTs (C@CNT) network, and presented both as a potential method to enhance thermal conductivity of CNT arrays. We utilized pulsed photothermal reflectance technique and using new four-layer heat conduction model based on the transmission-line theory to measure thermal conductivity of the samples. The 3D CNT with thermal conductivity of 21 W mK(-1) and C@CNT with thermal conductivity of 26 W mK(-1) turn out to be an excellent candidate for thermal interface material as the thermal conductivity increased by 40% and 70% respectively as compared to conventional CNT arrays. The improvement is attributed to the efficient thermal routines constructed between CNTs and secondary CNTs in 3D CNT and between C layer and CNTs in C@CNT. The other factor to improve thermal conductivity of the samples is decreasing air volume fraction in CNT arrays. Our fabrication methods provide a simple method but effective way to fabricate 3D CNT and C@CNT and extend the possibility of CNTs towards TIM application.

thermal interface materials

CNT array

3D CNT network

thermal conductivity


Majid Kabiri Samani

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Congxiang Lu

Nanyang Technological University

Kong Qinyu

Nanyang Technological University

Narjes Khosravian

Chalmers, Physics, Materials and Surface Theory

George Chen

BC Photonics Technological Co.

Chong Wei Tan

Nanyang Technological University

Per Rudquist

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Beng Kang Tay

CNRS Int NTU THALES Res Alliance

Nanyang Technological University

Johan Liu

Shanghai University

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems Laboratory

Materials Research Express

2053-1591 (eISSN)

Vol. 6 8 085616

Subject Categories


Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials

Materials Chemistry



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