Carbon nanotube-based super nanotubes: tunable thermal conductivity in three dimensions

HF Zhan and JM Bell and YT Gu, RSC ADVANCES, 5, 48164-48168 (2015).

DOI: 10.1039/c5ra05584a

Advances in nanomaterials/nanostructures offer the possibility of fabricating multifunctional materials for use in engineering applications. Carbon nanotube (CNT)-based nanostructures are a representative building block for these multifunctional materials. Based on a series of in silico studies, we investigated the possibility of tuning the thermal conductivity of a three-dimensional CNT-based nanostructure: a single-walled CNT-based super-nanotube. The thermal conductivity of the super-nanotubes was shown to vary with different connecting carbon rings and super-nanotubes with longer constituent single-walled CNTs and larger diameters had a smaller thermal conductivity. The inverse of the thermal conductivity of the super- nanotubes showed a good linear relationship with the inverse of the length. The thermal conductivity was approximately proportional to the inverse of the temperature, but was insensitive to the axial strain as a result of the Poisson ratio. These results provide a fundamental understanding of the thermal conductivity of the super-nanotubes and will guide their future design/fabrication and engineering applications.

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