Funding: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Project period: 2018 – 2021
Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan José Vilatela (email@example.com)
With their intrinsic combination of toughness, conductivity, large porosity and lightweight, CNT yarns are rapidly emerging as a key material in multifunctional composites combining load-bearing and energy transfer/storage functions. Exploiting the low dimensional properties of the constituent CNTs in these composites could provide enormous enhancements in bulk properties. The project consists in an experimental study of low-dimensional (quantum) properties of carbon nanotubes in macroscopic yarn arrays and their relation to bulk properties (electrical, mechanical and charge transport/transfer). The first stage consists in establishing electrochemical and electronic methods to access low dimensional properties of cm2-scale arrays comprising CNTs produced with molecular control and high crystallinity. Non-covalent doping strategies will then be used to produce large changes in charge carrier density without disruption of the molecular chemical structure. The resulting systems will be studied by advanced spectroscopic (Raman, XPS, UPS) and synchrotron diffraction methods (WAXS/SAXS) in order to establish a correlation between modified electronic structure and bulk yarn properties such as longitudinal conductivity, tensile properties, and electrochemical capacitance.