E.J. García, A.J. Hart, B.L. Wardle, A.H. Slocum. Nanotechnology 18(16):165602, 2007. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/18/16/165602]
The interaction, or wetting, of long aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) forests with off-the-shelf (no solvent added) commercial thermoset polymers is investigated experimentally. A technique for creating vertically aligned CNT composite microstructures of various shapes is presented. The effective wetting of the forests, as evidenced by a lack of voids, by three polymers with widely varying viscosities supports the feasibility of using CNT forests in large-scale hybrid advanced composite architectures. Among various routes identified for the polymer to penetrate the forest, capillarity-driven wetting along the CNT axis is the preferred route. Aligned CNT microstructures are useful in many applications including test structures for direct mechanical and multifunctional property characterization of the aligned CNT–polymer composite materials.
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