The high aspect ratio and the porous nature of spatially oriented forest-like carbon nanotube (CNT) structures represent a unique opportunity to engineer a novel class of nanoscale assemblies. By combining CNTs and conformal coatings, a 3D lightweight scaffold with tailored behavior can be achieved. The effect of nanoscale coatings, aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and nonstoichiometric amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC), on the thermal transport efficiency of high aspect ratio vertically aligned CNTs, is reported herein. The thermal performance of the CNT-based nanostructure strongly depends on the achieved porosity, the coating material and its infiltration within the nanotube network. An unprecedented enhancement in terms of effective thermal conductivity in a-SiC coated CNTs has been obtained: 181% compared to the as-grown CNTs and Al2O3 coated CNTs. Furthermore, the integration of coated high aspect ratio CNTs in an epoxy molding compound demonstrates that, next to the required thermal conductivity, the mechanical compliance for thermal interface applications can also be achieved through coating infiltration into foam-like CNT forests.
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- Carbon nanotubes
- Conformal coating
- Epoxy molding
- Thermal property
- Vertically aligned