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Issue 10, 2011
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Continuous electrodeposition for lightweight, highly conducting and strong carbon nanotube-copper composite fibers

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Abstract

Carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber is a promising candidate for lightweight cables. The introduction of metal particles on a CNT fiber can effectively improve its electrical conductivity. However, the decrease in strength is observed in CNT-metal composite fibers. Here we demonstrate a continuous process, which combines fiber spinning, CNT anodization and metal deposition, to fabricate lightweight and high-strength CNT-Cu fibers with metal-like conductivities. The composite fiber with anodized CNTs exhibits a conductivity of 4.08 × 104–1.84 × 105 S cm−1 and a mass density of 1.87–3.08 g cm−3, as the Cu thickness is changed from 1 to 3 μm. It can be 600–811 MPa in strength, as strong as the un-anodized pure CNT fiber (656 MPa). We also find that during the tensile tests there are slips between the inner CNTs and the outer Cu layer, leading to the drops in electrical conductivity. Therefore, there is an effective fiber strength before which the Cu layer is robust. Due to the improved interfacial bonding between the Cu layer and the anodized CNT surfaces, such effective strength is still high, up to 490–570 MPa.

Graphical abstract: Continuous electrodeposition for lightweight, highly conducting and strong carbon nanotube-copper composite fibers

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Article information


Submitted
03 Jun 2011
Accepted
26 Jul 2011
First published
30 Aug 2011

Nanoscale, 2011,3, 4215-4219
Article type
Paper

Continuous electrodeposition for lightweight, highly conducting and strong carbon nanotube-copper composite fibers

G. Xu, J. Zhao, S. Li, X. Zhang, Z. Yong and Q. Li, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 4215
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10571J

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