Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Chemistry

Committee Member

Dr. Ya-Ping Sun, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. William T. Pennington

Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Anker

Committee Member

Dr. Omode A. Ogale

Abstract

Herein, we report research centered on the use of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) for their electrical conductivity (EC) , or more specifically the harvesting of metallic-SWNTs for their extremely high EC, and on the exploitation of carbon and boron nitride nano-fillers for polymeric composites of high thermal conductivity (TC). SWNTs as produced are a mixture of both metallic and semiconducting components , which are distinctively different in electrical conductivity and many other aspects. Thus post-production separation of -SWNTs from their mixtures in the as-produced samples is necessary. As a result, my dissertation is formatted as such: the first chapter is a detailed review of Metallic Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes for electrically conductive materials and devices; the second chapter is primarily focused on the separation of SWNTs into their respective metallic and semiconducting components using non-covalent functionalization and solubilization. The method exploits the selectivity between metallic- and semiconducting-SWNTs in their non-covalent interactions with planar aromatic molecules or moieties, which with the different solubility characteristics enable convenient solution-phase separation. Lastly, my focus will center on the development of lightweight composites to be utilized in two categories: one for ultra-high TC and the other for materials of high TC but no EC. Therefore, the development of such materials is highly dependent on the selection of nano-scale fillers and their configurations in various matrices and thus the interfacial properties. For example, those flexible composites of high TC consist of two components, one of those of extremely high TC (coupled), and the other of high TC but no EC (decoupled), which are both based on the use of GNs and BNNs as nanofillers, respectively. Hence, reported herein is the exploitation of various mechanisms that dictate TC and EC in nanocomposite materials to achieve a high TC/EC ratio.

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