Influence of nanotube length on the optical and conductivity properties of thin single-wall carbon nanotube networks

Academic Article


  • We study the optical and electrical properties of transparent conducting films made from length-sorted single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). Thin films of length-sorted SWCNTs, formed through filtration from a dispersing solvent onto a filter substrate ("buckypaper"), exhibit sharp changes in their optical properties and conductivity (σ) with increasing SWCNT surface concentration. At a given surface concentration, tubes longer than 200 nm are found to form networks that are more transparent and conducting. We show that changes of σ with SWCNT concentration can be quantitatively described by the generalized effective medium (GEM) theory. The scaling universal exponents describing the "percolation" transition from an insulating to a conducting state with increasing concentration are consistent with the two-dimensional (2D) percolation model. Shorter tubes and mixed length tubes form 3D networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the conductivity percolation threshold (xc,) varies with the aspect ratio L as, xc ∼ 1/L, a result that is also in accordance with the percolation theory. These findings provide a framework for engineering the optical and electrical properties of SWCNT networks for technological applications where flexibility, transparency, and conductivity are required.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • ACS Nano  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Simien D; Fagan JA; Luo W; Douglas JF; Migler K; Obrzut J
  • Start Page

  • 1879
  • End Page

  • 1884
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 9