Arbitrarily Shaped Fiber Assemblies from Spun Carbon Nanotube Gel Fibers


  • The authors thank the staff of the University of Texas at Dallas for their assistance and Nolan Cannedy for the artwork of the spinning apparatus. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation (NIRT award #DMI-0609115), the Robert A. Welch Foundation Grant AT-0029, the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (ARP award #009741-0050-2006). E.M. acknowledges funding from MEC and CSIC (Spain, 2006 8 0I 060). A.B.D. acknowledges funding from the Human Frontiers Science Programme, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


Experimental methods, apparatus, and practically useful theoretical analysis are provided for the coagulation-based spinning of effectively unlimited lengths of carbon nanotube fibers having exceptional toughness and reasonably high strength. This spinning process fundamentally depends on the mechanical properties of intermediate gel state fibers, which we find are surprising elastic up to about 20 % strain and sufficiently strong for diverse processing methods. More specifically, we show that assemblies of these gel fibers can be used as intermediates for making nanotube sheets, large diameter fibers, and conformal coatings. When suitably processed, these composites (comprising many parallel solution-spun nanotube fibers) have useful strength and extraordinary toughness.