Aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) composites have attracted a lot of interest due to their superb mechanical and physical properties. This article presents a brief overview of the synthesis approaches of aligned CNT composites. The three major methods for fabricating aligned CNT fibers are first reviewed, including wet-spinning, dry-spinning and floating catalysts. The obtained CNT fibers, however, have limited mechanical and physical properties due to their porous structure and poor CNT alignment within the fibers. Appropriate treatments are required to densify the fibers to enhance their properties. The main approaches for the densification of CNT fibers are then discussed. To further enhance load transfer within CNT fibers, polymer infiltration is always used. Typical studies on polymer infiltration of CNT fibers are reviewed, and the properties of the obtained composites indicate the superiority of this composite fabrication method over the conventional dispersion method. Since aligned CNT composites are usually obtained in structures of long fiber or thin film, it is difficult to measure the thermal conductivity of these composites. An off-lattice Monte Carlo model is developed to accurately predict the thermal conductivity of aligned CNT composites.
Part of the book: Carbon Nanotubes