We report on the use of a liquid crystalline host medium to align single-walled carbon nanotubes in an electric field using an in-plane electrode configuration. Electron microscopy reveals that the nanotubes orient in the field with a resulting increase in the DC conductivity in the field direction. Current versus voltage measurements on the composite show a nonlinear behavior, which was modelled by using single-carrier space-charge injection. The possibility of manipulating the conductivity pathways in the same sample by applying the electrical field in different (in-plane) directions has also been demonstrated. Raman spectroscopy indicates that there is an interaction between the nanotubes and the host liquid crystal molecules that goes beyond that of simple physical mixing.
Exploring the alignment of carbon nanotubes dispersed in a liquid crystal matrix using coplanar electrodes
D. Volpati, M. K. Massey, D. W. Johnson, A. Kotsialos, F. Qaiser, C. Pearson, K. S. Coleman, G. Tiburzi, D. A. Zeze, M. C. Petty; Exploring the alignment of carbon nanotubes dispersed in a liquid crystal matrix using coplanar electrodes. J. Appl. Phys. 28 March 2015; 117 (12): 125303. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4916080
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