Macroscopic Fiber Comprising Single-wall Carbon Nanotubes And Acrylonitrile-based Polymer And Process For Making The Same
Veedu, Sreekumar T.
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The present invention relates to a high modulus macroscopic fiber comprising single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) and an acrylonitrile-containing polymer. In one embodiment, the macroscopic fiber is a drawn fiber having a cross-sectional dimension of at least 1 micron. In another embodiment, the acrylonitrile polymer-SWNT composite fiber is made by dispersing SWNT in a solvent, such as dimethyl formamide or dimethyl acetamide, admixing an acrylonitrile-based polymer to form a generally optically homogeneous polyacrylonitrile polymer-SWNT dope, spinning the dope into a fiber, drawing and drying the fiber. Polyacrylonitrile/SWNT composite macroscopic fibers have substantially higher modulus and reduced shrinkage versus a polymer fiber without SWNT. A polyacrylonitrile/SWNT fiber containing 10 wt % SWNT showed over 100% increase in tensile modulus and significantly reduced thermal shrinkage compared to a control fiber without SWNT. With 10 wt % SWNT, the glass transition temperature of the polymer increased by more than 40°C.
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