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Laser synthesis of a copper-single-walled carbon nanotube nanocomposite via molecular-level mixing and non-equilibrium solidification
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing. North Carolina State Univ, Dept Mech & Aerosp Engn, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA. (PTW)
North Carolina State Univ, Dept Mech & Aerosp Engn, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA.
owa State Univ, Dept Mech Engn, Ames, IA USA.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Auburn Hills, MI USA.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ISSN 0022-3727, E-ISSN 1361-6463, Vol. 49, no 49, 495301Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A copper-single-walled carbon nanotube (Cu-SWCNT) metal nanocomposite could be an ideal material if it can substantially improve the strength of copper while preserving the metal’s excellent thermal and electrical properties. However, synthesis of such a nanocomposite is highly challenging, because copper and SWCNTs do not form intermetallic compounds and are insoluble; as a result, there are serious issues regarding wettability and fine dispersion of SWCNTs within the copper matrix. In this paper we present a novel wet process, called the laser surface implantation process (LSI), to synthesize Cu-SWCNT nanocomposites by mixing SWCNTs into molten copper. The LSI process includes drilling several microholes on a copper substrate, filling the microholes with SWCNTs suspended in solution, and melting the copper substrate to create a micro-well of molten copper. The molten copper advances radially outward to engulf the microholes with pre-deposited SWCNTs to form the Cu-SWCNT implant upon solidification. Rapid and non-equilibrium solidification is achieved due to copper’s excellent heat conductivity, so that SWCNTs are locked in position within the copper matrix without agglomerating into large clusters. This wet process is very different from the typical dry processes used in powder metallurgy. Very high hardness improvement, up to 527% over pure copper, was achieved, confirmed by micro-indentation tests, with only a 0.23% SWCNT volume fraction. The nanostructure of the nanocomposite was characterized by TEM imaging, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy mapping and spectroscopy measurements. The SWCNTs were found to be finely dispersed within the copper matrix with cluster sizes in the range of nanometers, achieving the goal of molecular-level mixing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 49, no 49, 495301
Keyword [en]
Metal composite; carbon nanotubes; nanostructure; copper nanocomposites; molecular level mixing; laser surface implantation; laser synthesis
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Research subject
Production Technology; ENGINEERING, Manufacturing and materials engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10339DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/49/49/495301ISI: 000388204400001OAI: diva2:1057775
Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2016-12-22Bibliographically approved

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Tu, Juei-feng
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Division of Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing
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