Carbon Nanotubes Overview

Unique Nano Materials


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)  are a novel graphitic material consisting of graphene sheet(s) formed in a cylindrical fashion into a unique tubular structure. The diameters of these tubes range from approximately 1 to a few hundreds of nanometers.  The length of these tubular fibers also varies from a few to a few thousands of micrometers, therefore, the resultant aspect ratio (length over diameter) ranges from 1,000 to 1,000,000.  The huge aspect ratio along with their unique structure arrangement differentiate CNTs from many other materials. CNTs have been shown to possess many extraordinary properties such as strength 16X that of stainless steel and with a thermal conductivity five times that of copper. Because of the natural powder form of CNTs, they are probably best suited as additives for building new classes of composite materials. Incorporated into a polymer, ceramic or metal matrix, CNTs will boost the host material’s physical properties (like electrical and thermal conductivity and physical properties) well above the performance achievable over the traditional fillers such as carbon black, carbon fiber or glass fiber.


CNTs are also divided into single-wall, double-wall and multiple-wall CNTs. The main difference is the number of the graphene layers in the structures. Some of the extraordinary CNT properties are quantified below:

Electrical Resistivity: 10 -4 Ω-cm

Current Density: 107 amps/cm2

Thermal Conductivity: 3,000 W/mK

Tensile Strength: 30 GPa

Elasticity: 1.28 TPa



Read more about this fascinating material from its discovery to structures, and applications at

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