MULTIWALLED CARBON NANOTUBES

Although multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) are similar to single walled carbon nanotubes, there are certain significant differences between the two. These nanotubes made from several concentric cylinders (nanotubes) of pure carbon.

The MWCNT may contain from 6 to over 25 concentric walls, with each having a diameter of at least 30 nm. These nanotubes find immense numbers of new applications and improvement of existing technology in commercial and R&D fields.

Properties

Commercial and research MWCNT have certain excellent qualities that are helpful in numerous applications. Check out the unique qualities of this advanced and innovative new material:

  • Electrical – Functionalized MWCNT are highly conductive when appropriately integrated into a composite structure. The outer walls of the nanotubes remain conductive to electricity while the inner walls are non-conducting.
  • Thermal – These nanotubes are able to withstand an immense temperature of around 600˚ C. This is mainly dependent on the level of defects in the material and its purity too. It is because residual catalysts present in the nanotubes can also catalyze decomposition.
  • Chemical – These carbon nanotubes are allotrope of sp2 hybridized carbon, which is much similar to fullerenes and graphite, and has overall higher chemical stability. The adequately functionalized MWCNT have enhanced in strength and dispersibility of composites.
  • Physical – Each perfectly-produced MWCNT can withstand immense weight due to its enormous tensile strength. When it adequately integrated into a composite (thermoset or thermoplastic compounds), it can multiply its tensile strength remarkably.
  • Morphology – These nanotubes have a remarkably high aspect ratio concerning the length, typically more than 100 times the diameter and even more in some cases. The best-produced carbon nanotubes can perform efficiently when there are negligible entanglement and significant straightness in the tubes.

Applications of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

There are numerous applications for commercial and research multiwalled carbon nanotubes today. Due to the excellent and advanced properties, these nanostructures have effectively used in improving the efficiency. The performance of existing technology as well as enabling researchers to come up with more efficient use of this advanced material.

These are the potential applications of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes in industries and educational institutes:

  • Battery cathodes – The functionalized MWCNT are useful in increasing the energy capacity of lithium batteries almost double when used as cathodes.
  • Walter filtration – With increasing pollution and the need to conserve the environment, carbon nanotubes are being increasingly used as efficient filtration medium due to the high aspect ratio, higher mechanical strength, and larger specific surface area.
  • Electric conducting polymers – The carbon nanotubes with multiple walls have the best aspect ratio and power of electrical conductivity. This material requires far lesser loadings than that needed for conventional metal particulates or carbon black material. It makes it practical for use as RFI shielding materials, conductive plastic to enable electrostatic spray painting of automobile body parts, and antistatic industrial solutions.
  • Stronger composites – The MWCNT, when used as woven or non-woven fabric or resin-infused Buckypaper, get incredible strength and stiffness. This property enables it to find application in the making stronger but lighter golf clubs to airplane parts.

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