Measurement of the Intrinsic Thermal Conductivity of a Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Its Contact Thermal Resistance with the Substrate

Authors

  • Juekuan Yang,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA
    2. School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Design and Manufacture of Micro-Nano Biomedical Instruments, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096, P. R. of China
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  • Yang Yang,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA
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  • Scott W. Waltermire,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA
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  • Timothy Gutu,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
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  • Alfred A. Zinn,

    1. Advanced Technology Center, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
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  • Terry T. Xu,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
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  • Yunfei Chen,

    1. School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Design and Manufacture of Micro-Nano Biomedical Instruments, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096, P. R. of China
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  • Deyu Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA.
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Abstract

The intrinsic thermal conductivity of an individual carbon nanotube and its contact thermal resistance with the heat source/sink can be extracted simultaneously through multiple measurements with different lengths of the tube between the heat source and the heat sink. Experimental results on a 66-nm-diameter multiwalled carbon nanotube show that above 100 K, contact thermal resistance can contribute up to 50% of the total measured thermal resistance; therefore, the intrinsic thermal conductivity of the nanotube can be significantly higher than the effective thermal conductivity derived from a single measurement without eliminating the contact thermal resistance. At 300 K, the contact thermal resistance between the tube and the substrate for a unit area is 2.2 × 10−8 m2 K W−1, which is on the lower end among several published data. Results also indicate that for nanotubes of relatively high thermal conductance, electron-beam-induced gold deposition at the tube–substrate contacts may not reduce the contact thermal resistance to a negligible level. These results provide insights into the long-lasting issue of the contact thermal resistance in nanotube/nanowire thermal conductity measurements and have important implications for further understanding thermal transport through carbon nanotubes and using carbon nanotube arrays as thermal interface materials.

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