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Title: Remarkably enhanced thermal transport based on a flexible horizontally-aligned carbon nanotube array film
Authors: Qiu, Lin
Wang, Xiaotian
Su, Guoping
Tang, Dawei
Zheng, Xinghua
Zhu, Jie
Wang, Zhiguo
Norris, Pamela M.
Bradford, Philip D.
Zhu, Yuntian
Keywords: Carbon Nanotube
Thermal Conductivity
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Qiu, L., Wang, X., Su, G., Tang, D., Zheng, X., Zhu, J., . . . Zhu, Y. (2016). Remarkably enhanced thermal transport based on a flexible horizontally-aligned carbon nanotube array film. Scientific Reports, 6, 21014-. doi:10.1038/srep21014
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: It has been more than a decade since the thermal conductivity of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) arrays was reported possible to exceed that of the best thermal greases or phase change materials by an order of magnitude. Despite tremendous prospects as a thermal interface material (TIM), results were discouraging for practical applications. The primary reason is the large thermal contact resistance between the CNT tips and the heat sink. Here we report a simultaneous sevenfold increase in in-plane thermal conductivity and a fourfold reduction in the thermal contact resistance at the flexible CNT-SiO2 coated heat sink interface by coupling the CNTs with orderly physical overlapping along the horizontal direction through an engineering approach (shear pressing). The removal of empty space rapidly increases the density of transport channels, and the replacement of the fine CNT tips with their cylindrical surface insures intimate contact at CNT-SiO2 interface. Our results suggest horizontally aligned CNT arrays exhibit remarkably enhanced in-plane thermal conductivity and reduced out-of-plane thermal conductivity and thermal contact resistance. This novel structure makes CNT film promising for applications in chip-level heat dissipation. Besides TIM, it also provides for a solution to anisotropic heat spreader which is significant for eliminating hot spots.
DOI: 10.1038/srep21014
Schools: School of Materials Science & Engineering 
Rights: © 2016 The Authors (Nature Publishing Group). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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