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Thermal Property Measurements of Carbon Nanotube Forest Synthesized by Thermal CVD Process

[+] Author Affiliations
Qingjun Cai, Bing-chung Chen, Yuan Zhao, Julia Mack, Yanbao Ma, Chung-lung Chen

Teledyne Scientific & Image Company, Thousand Oaks, CA

Hengzhi Wang, Zhifeng Ren

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Paper No. HT2009-88076, pp. 443-449; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 2: Theory and Fundamental Research; Aerospace Heat Transfer; Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4357-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Carbon nanotube (CNT) forest/cluster synthesized by a thermal CVD process has millimeter growth height, large porosity and nano level pore size, plus high thermal conductivity of individual CNT, thus it is potentially a good wick structure material in developing micro heat transfer devices. However, thermal properties, including effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of a bulky CNT layer, may not be as good as the common metallic wick materials. In this paper, a Netzsch DSC 404 C Pegasus is used for measurement of the CNT heat capacity. CNT volume density is obtained by measuring the ratio of a bulky CNT weight and volume. Both the laser flash and 3-omega measurement methods are employed to measure ETC for CNT wick structures synthesized by the thermal CVD processes. For the laser flash method, measurement deviations caused by reflective silicon and thin substrate are corrected by surface treatment and increased sample thickness. Measurement results of the laser flash indicate that a 600μm thick CNT layer has ETC varying from 0.7–1.2W/m.K. For the 3-omega approach, the measurement system is validated on a quartz substrate. However, the test results yield larger ETC on 250μm CNT samples. Geometric and one dimensional thermal conduction analysis indicate that the bulky CNT thermal properties are tied to CNT synthesis processes. ETC of bulky CNT layer can be enhanced by straightening CNT growth and increasing CNT growth volume density.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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