Year of Publication

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Eric A. Grulke

Abstract

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) have attracted great interest during thelast decade due to their possession of a unique set of properties. In addition totheir strength, MWNTs have well defined morphologies, with large aspect ratiosand pores in the meso range, and intriguing transport properties, such as highelectrical and thermal conductivity.We are interested in how variations in the MWNT morphology affect areas ofpossible engineering applications. We have identified morphology as a criticalelement for the performance of MWNTs in engineering applications. Specificareas studied and reported here spans from surface adsorption and capillarycondensation, to dispersion and dispersion processes, and transport propertiesin relation to MWNT aspect ratio. This wide range of exploration is typicallyneeded for evaluating opportunities for new materials.MWNTs can be used in different types of adsorption systems and it should bepossible to tailor the MWNT morphology to suit a specific adsorption process.We found that the major part of butane, our model gas, adsorbs on the externalMWNT and only a small fraction ends up in the pores.The unusually large aspect ratio makes MWNTs ideal as fillers in polymermatrixes. Since MWNTs are electrically conductive, it is possible to align theMWNTs in the matrix before curing. We investigated the effect of AC-fields onaqueous MWNT dispersions and the possibility to align MWNTs in an electricalfield.It is also necessary to develop suitable dispersion methods, to enable theproduction of homogeneous dispersions and composites. We studied a numberof different mechanical dispersion methods and their effect on the MWNTmorphology.

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