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Application of Carbon Nanotubes and Fullerenes for Thermal Management in Ceramics

  • Leonard L. Yowell (a1), Brian M. Mayeaux (a2), Hsin Wang (a3) and Enrique V. Barrera (a1)

Abstract

New techniques for thermal management in ceramics at the nanoscale level have been investigated using low percentages of carbon nanotubes to reduce thermal conductivity of bulk ceramics. Samples of yttria-stabilized zirconia containing purified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) or vapor grown carbon fibers (VGCF) have been prepared by tape casting and analyzed using the laser flash method to evaluate reductions in thermal conductivity at high temperatures. New features in the samples due to the presence of carbon nanotubes have been characterized using Raman, SEM, TEM and, in the case of VGCFs, are related to significant reductions in thermal conductivity (>25%). The inclusion of a low percentage of nanoscale carbon fibers, the intimate relationship between the fibers and ceramic particles, and the indication that the fibers possess a crystalline overcoating, all contribute to the lowering of the thermal conductivity.

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