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      High-fidelity characterization on anisotropic thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube sheets and on their effects of thermal enhancement of nanocomposites.

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          Abstract

          Some assemblies of nanomaterials, like carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet or film, always show outstanding and anisotropic thermal properties. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive thermal conductivity (κ) characterizations on CNT sheets, as well as a lack of estimations of their true contributions on thermal enhancement of polymer composites when used as additives. Always, these characterizations were hindered by the low heat capacity, anisotropic thermal properties or low electrical conductivity of assemblies and their nanocomposites. The transient κ measurement and calculations were also hampered by accurate determination of parameters, like specific heat capacity, density and cross-section, which could be difficult and controversial for nanomaterials, like CNT sheets. Here, to measure anisotropic κ of CNT sheets directly with high fidelity, we modified the conventional steady-state method by measuring under vacuum and by infrared camera, and then comparing temperature profiles on both reference standard material and a CNT sheet sample. The highly anisotropic thermal conductivities of CNT sheets were characterized comprehensively, with κ/ρ in alignment direction as ∼95 mW m2 K-1 kg-1. Furthermore, by comparing the measured thermal properties of different CNT-epoxy resin composites, the heat conduction pathway created by the CNT hierarchical network was demonstrated to remain intact after the in situ polymerization and curing process. The reliable and direct κ measurement rituals used here, dedicated to nanomaterials, will be also essential to assist in assemblies' application to heat dissipation and composite thermal enhancement.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nanotechnology
          Nanotechnology
          IOP Publishing
          1361-6528
          0957-4484
          Sep 07 2018
          : 29
          : 36
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Division of Energy, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, United Kingdom.
          Article
          10.1088/1361-6528/aacd7b
          29916810
          bfe68252-8190-4144-bde8-acd70c5fa929
          History

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