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Research

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Publication details for Professor Michael Petty

Volpati, D., Massey, M. K., Johnson, D. W., Kotsialos, A., Qaiser, F., Pearson, C., Coleman, K. S., Tiburzi, G., Zeze, D. A. & Petty, M. C. (2015). Exploring the alignment of carbon nanotubes dispersed in a liquid crystal matrix using coplanar electrodes. Journal of Applied Physics 117(12): 125303.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

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.