Formation of highly conductive composite coatings and their applications to broadband antennas and mechanical transducers

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Tight networks of interwoven carbon nanotube bundles are formed in our highly conductive composite. The composite possesses propertiessuggesting a two-dimensional percolative network rather than other reported dispersions displaying three-dimensional networks. Binding nanotubes into large but tight bundles dramatically alters the morphology and electronic transport dynamics of the composite. This enables itto carry higher levels of charge in the macroscale leading to conductivities as high as 1600 S/cm. We now discuss in further detail, the electronic and physical properties of the nanotube composites through Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis. When controlled and usedappropriately, the interesting properties of these composites reveal their potential for practical device applications. For instance, we used this composite to fabricate coatings, whic improve the properties of an electromagnetic antenna/amplifier transducer. The resulting transducer possesses a broadband range up to GHz frequencies. A strain gauge transducer was also fabricated using changes in conductivity to monitor structural deformations in the composite coatings. © 2010 Materials Research Society.

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Journal of Materials Research

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