Mechanical properties of continuously spun fibers of carbon nanotubes

Marcelo Motta, Ya Li Li, Ian Kinloch, Alan Windle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We report on the mechanical properties of fibers consisting of pure carbon nanotube fibers directly spun from an aerogel formed during synthesis by chemical vapor deposition. The continuous withdrawal of product from the gas phase imparts a high commercial potential to the process, either for the production of particularly strong fibers or for the economic production of bulk quantities of carbon nanotubes. Tensile tests were performed on fibers produced from the dissociation of three different hydrocarbons, namely, ethanol, ethylene glycol, and hexane, with a range of iron (catalyst) concentrations. The conditions were chosen to lie within the range known to enable satisfactory continuous spinning, the iron concentration being varied within this range. Increasing proportions of single wall nanotubes were found as the iron concentration was decreased, conditions which also produced fibers of best strength and stiffness. The maximum tensile strength obtained was 1.46 GPa (equivalent to 0.70 N/tex assuming a density of 2.1 g/cm3). The experiments indicate that significant improvements in the mechanical properties can be accomplished by optimizing the process conditions. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1529-1533
    Number of pages4
    JournalNano Letters
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


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