Transparent Thin Films of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes Self-Assembled on Polyamide 11 Nanofibers

Authors

  • Mickael Havel,

    1. A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA)
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  • Kristopher Behler,

    1. A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA)
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  • Guzeliya Korneva,

    1. A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and Department of Chemistry, Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA)
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  • Yury Gogotsi

    Corresponding author
    1. A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA)
    • A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA).
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  • The authors would like to thank Arkema Inc. for providing the MWNT and PA11. The authors would also like to acknowledge Dr. Zhorro Nikolov, Dee Breger, and the Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) of the Drexel Nanotechnology Institute (DNI), as well as the Chemistry Department for providing technical support. M. Havel, K. Behler, and G. Korneva were supported by an Arkema post-doctoral fellowship, NSF GSRP fellowship and NSF NIRT grant CTS-0609062, respectively. Natalie Gogotsi is acknowledged for image coloring (TOC).

Abstract

Electrospun polyamide 11 (PA11) nanofiber films are used as a guide for the deposition of two-dimensional networks of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). This method allows for the manufacturing of transparent and electrically conductive thin films. It is demonstrated that the sheet resistance (Rs) and transmittance (T) decrease, as the films become thicker due to longer electrospinning times or larger fibers. The transmittance could be improved by fusing (melting) the fibers at moderate temperatures or impregnating the film with a resin, showing that light scattering rather than absorption by the MWNTs or the polymer was responsible for a low transmittance. As the number of MWNT deposition cycles increases, the Rs decreases with a constant transmittance. A fused 100 nm film obtained after 10 min of electrospinning of the 2 wt % PA11 solution shows Rs = 154 kΩ sq−1 and T = 83% after ten MWNT deposition cycles. A 95% transmittance was achieved after removing the polymer fibers by heating the glass plate in air (Rs = 440 kΩ sq−1 after five MWNT deposition cycles).

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