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Time-Resolved Modeling of Growing Carbon Nanotube Forests

[+] Author Affiliations
Damola Ajiboye, P. Frank Pai, Matthew R. Maschmann

University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Paper No. IMECE2014-38469, pp. V010T13A028; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Micro- and Nano-Systems Engineering and Packaging
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4959-0
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


A two-dimensional mechanical model of actively growing carbon nanotube (CNT) forests is developed and used to perform a parametric growth study examining the effects of CNT diameter, growth rate distribution, and orientation angle distribution on the resulting CNT forest morphology. The CNT forest alignment is quantified using the Hermans Orientation Factor (HOF). Each CNT within the forest is modeled as a series of interconnected linear elastic Euler-Bernoulli beams elements, each with six degrees of freedom corresponding to angular rotation, an axial displacement, and a transverse displacement at each of two nodes. Individual CNTs within the forest grow at a constant rate at discrete time steps. When CNTs are within sufficient proximity, a van der Waals potential is established to maintain intimate contact between adjacent CNTs. The van der Waals interaction is modeled as a linear elastic element located between nodes in close proximity. Mismatches in the growth rate and orientation of contacting CNTs leads to translation, rotation, and buckling of constituent CNTs. The resulting morphology of the simulated forests is similar in appearance to experimentally grown CNT forests. The model represents a new methodology for studying CNT forest growth kinetics, and the resultant CNT forests may be further subjected to mechanical, thermal, and electrical evaluation.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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