Non-deterministic modeling of the bulk thermal and electrical conductivity for dense thin film carbon nanotube networks.
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Ashtekar, Nikhil A.
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Thin films composed of single-walled carbon nanotubes, enjoy very high thermal and electrical conductivities, well beyond that of polymer matrix composites, and are very light in weight. Before these materials can experience industrial acceptance the underlying mechanisms dictating their performance must be understood. This research project intends to characterize using a physics based model the bulk thermal and electrical behavior of a neat carbon nanotube network conditions involving stochastic distributions of length, diameter, chirality, orientation obtained from the literature along with theoretical values of the inter-tube distance distribution obtained from in-house studies obtained through MD simulations. The work presents step by step development of the fully three dimensional model for linear, steady state loadings. Case studies using models are presented to better understand the dependence of the bulk thermal and electrical conductivity on the nanoscale parameters, such as bundle length, bundle diameter, orientation, volume fraction. The model is also used to investigate the sensitivity of the thermal and electrical conductivity on select stochastic parameters.