Multiple thermal transitions and anisotropic thermal expansions of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes

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Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs) hold the potential to play an instrumental role in a wide variety of applications in micro- and nano-devices and composites. However, their successful large-scale implementation in engineering systems requires a thorough understanding of their material properties, including their thermal behavior, which was the focus of the current study. Thus, the thermal expansion of as-grown VA-CNT microstructures was investigated while increasing the temperature from room temperature to 800 °C and then cooling it down. First thermal transition was observed at 191 ± 68 °C during heating, and an additional thermal transition was observed at 523 ± 138 °C during heating and at similar temperatures during cooling. Each thermal transition was characterized by a significant change in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), which can be related to a morphological change in the VA-CNT microstructures. Measurements of the CTEs in the lateral directions revealed differences in the lateral thermal behaviors of the top, middle, and bottom portions of the VA-CNT microstructures, again indicating that their morphology dominates their thermal characteristics. A hysteretic behavior was observed, as the measured values of CTEs were altered due to the applied thermal loads and the height of the microstructures was slightly higher compared to its initial value. These findings provide an insight into the anisotropic thermal behavior of VA-CNT microstructures and shed light on the relationship between their morphology and thermal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165110
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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