Current and Future Applications of Carbon Nanotubes

Introduction
Carbon nanotubes are allotropes of carbon which take the form of cylindrical tubes. They have novel properties that make them potentially useful in a variety of applications in nanotechnology, optics, electronics, and other fields of materials science. Carbon nanotubes are categorized into two main types: single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs).
Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes
SWCNTs are produced through the Arc- discharge process. They have a purity of about 95 to 98wt% and include roughly 92 to 95wt% of carbon nano particles. SWCNT has a diameter of about 0.7 to 2nm and forms a bundle measuring 8nm. It does not require any separate refinery process.
Characteristics and Applications of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes
SWCNTs have excellent mechanical strength with superior heat and electric conductivity. They have high crystallinity and aspect ratio together with excellent Arc- discharge element characteristics.

SWCNTs are used in chemical sensors, nano biomaterial, conductive heating film, conductive transparent electrode, conductive nanoink, nano device, and display (backlight, flat lamp and field emitter).
Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes
MWCNT is produced by means of thermal CVD process and does not need a separate refinery process. Its diameter ranges from 10 to 30nm and has a purity of at least 95%. MWCNT are suitable for polymer and CNT-metal composites.
Characteristics and Applications of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes
Similar to SWCNTs, MWCNTs have excellent mechanical strength with superior heat and electric conductivity. They also have high specific surface area, high crystallinity, and high length-to-diameter ratio.

Carbon nanotubes are used in a wide range of application such as chemical sensors, conducting paints, energy storage, and composite materials (ESD, heat exchanger, reinforced material and EMI shielding).

Source: http://www.azonano.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=3782

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