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Percolation of single-walled carbon nanotubes in ceramic matrix nanocomposites

Abstract : The percolation of carbon nanotubes (CNT) in an electrical insulating ceramic is studied for the first time. The in situ synthesis of the CNT (0.2-25 vol%) by a CCVD route allows to achieve their homogeneous distribution in the spinel matrix. Up to 11 vol% CNT, the DC electrical conductivity (σ) is well fitted by the scaling law of the percolation theory σ=k(p−pc)t with a low percolation threshold pc=0.64 vol%. At the threshold, σ jumps over seven order of magnitude (from 10−10 to 0.0040 S cm−1) and then reaches a maximum at 8.5 S cm−1. The results are discussed in relation with the characteristics of the CNT, their damaging during the hot-pressing at 1300 °C and the microstructure of the composites. CNT-ceramic composites become attractive materials not only for their enhanced mechanical properties, but also for the possibility to tailor the electrical conductivity through the CNT content.
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Sébastien Rul, Florent Lefèvre-Schlick, Ennio Capria, Christophe Laurent, Alain Peigney. Percolation of single-walled carbon nanotubes in ceramic matrix nanocomposites. Acta Materialia, Elsevier, 2004, vol. 52, pp. 1061-1067. ⟨10.1016/j.actamat.2003.10.038⟩. ⟨hal-00917575⟩

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