日本金属学会誌

J. Japan Inst. Metals, Vol. 73, No. 9 (2009),
pp. 651-658

Enhancement of Electrical Conductivity of Copper/Carbon-Nanotube Composite Wire

Nobuya Banno and Takao Takeuchi

Superconducting Materials Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba 305-0047

Abstract:

Carbon nanotube (CNT) has excellent lightweight properties, mechanical properties and electric conductivity, and therefore CNT is expected as the next generation conductive wires for the electric devices or as wire harnesses for the motor vehicles etc. However, the CNT is very small materials, for instance usually the diameter is about 0.7 to 100 nm and the length a few hundreds of micrometers, so that the application to the conductive wires needs combining with some another matrix material like copper or aluminum. Furthermore, because of the one-dimensional conductivity of CNT, high orientation of the CNT along with the wire axis is necessary in order to achieve the excellent electric property of the CNT composite. In this work, we tried to fabricate copper-CNT composite wires using the widely-used techniques, the mechanical alloying and the powder-in-tube method, with the industrialization in mind, and investigated their electricity and mechanical properties. For the wire fabrications, commercially available single-walled CNT (SWCNT) and multi-walled CNT (MWCNT) were used. As a result, it was found that addition of CNT enhances the hardness of the copper-CNT composite whether SWCNT or MWCNT, but the results of resistivity measurements apparently showed that the addition of the MWCNT increases the resistivity of the composite. Use of the SWCNT, on the other hand, sustained the conductivity to the level of the copper. This is a good indication as the first test to realize high electric conductive wires.


(Received 2009/4/6)

Keywords:

carbon nanotube, single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT), copper-carbon nanotube (copper-CNT) composite, electric conductivity, mechanical alloying, powder-in-tube method


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