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Project Publications


Carbon nanotube-copper composites by electrodeposition on carbon nanotube fibers

Pyry-Mikko Hannula, Antti Peltonen, Jari Aromaa, Dawid Janas, Mari Lundström, Benjamin P. Wilson, Krzysztof Koziol, Olof Forsén

Carbon, Vol. 107, October 2016, Pages 281-287

Abstract

Electrochemical deposition of copper on a carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber from a copper sulfate – sulfuric acid bath was studied in order to produce a carbon nanotube-copper composite wire. The high resistivity of the aerogel-spun fiber causes a non-uniform current distribution during deposition, which results in a drastic drop in the copper nuclei population density as sufficient overpotential is not available beyond a certain distance from the current feed point. Copper was found to fill the pores between CNT bundles from Focused Ion Beam (FIB) cut cross-sections confirming that aqueous based electrolytes can fill micropores between as-spun CNTs in a fiber network. The speed at which copper grows on the fiber surface was identified at ca. 0.08 mm/s with 1mA applied current. The copper cladding showed columnar growth with a grain size a magnitude of order higher than the CNT-Cu region. The resulting composite was found to have specific conductivity similar to that of pure copper i.e 98 % of copper with 0.2 w-% of CNT, exhibiting a ninefold increase from the pure CNT fiber.  Self-annealing was shown to decrease the resistance of the composite.