Journal Article Handspinning Enabled Highly Concentrated Carbon Nanotubes with Controlled Orientation in Nanofibers

Lee, Hoik  ,  Watanabe, Kei  ,  Kim, Myungwoong  ,  Gopiraman, Mayakrishnan  ,  Song, Kyung-Hun  ,  Lee, Jung Soon  ,  Kim, Ick Soo

6p.35790 , 2016-11-23 , NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
The novel method, handspinning (HS), was invented by mimicking commonly observed methods in our daily lives. The use of HS allows us to fabricate carbon nanotube-reinforced nanofibers (CNT-reinforced nanofibers) by addressing three significant challenges: (i) the difficulty of forming nanofibers at high concentrations of CNTs, (ii) aggregation of the CNTs, and (iii) control of the orientation of the CNTs. The handspun nanofibers showed better physical properties than fibers fabricated by conventional methods, such as electrospinning. Handspun nanofibers retain a larger amount of CNTs than electrospun nanofibers, and the CNTs are easily aligned uniaxially. We attributed these improvements provided by the HS process to simple mechanical stretching force, which allows for orienting the nanofillers along with the force direction without agglomeration, leading to increased contact area between the CNTs and the polymer matrix, thereby providing enhanced interactions. HS is a simple and straightforward method as it does not require an electric field, and, hence, any kinds of polymers and solvents can be applicable. Furthermore, it is feasible to retain a large amount of various nanofillers in the fibers to enhance their physical and chemical properties. Therefore, HS provides an effective pathway to create new types of reinforced nanofibers with outstanding properties.

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