Quantitative morphological characterization of multiwall carbon nanotube films via small-angle X-ray scattering

INOR 549

Eric Verploegen, ericv@mit.edu1, Ben Wang, benwang@mit.edu2, Ryan D. Bennett2, John Hart, ajhart@mit.edu3, and Robert E. Cohen, recohen@mit.edu2. (1) Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, (2) Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, cambridge, MA 02139, (3) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
We use small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) to quantitatively characterize the morphological characteristics of pristine and mechanically manipulated multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) films. Traditionally a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are used to characterize carbon nanotube thin films. SAXS is a non-destructive analytical technique that allows for the measurement of the locally averaged CNT diameter and wall thickness as a function of position on the film. Additionally, we are able to quantify the orientation and alignment of the MWCNT forests. In this study we investigate MWCNT forests grown from different catalyst deposition methods, resulting in different CNT diameters and alignment at different locations within the films relative to the substrate. For all of the morphologies that were examined SAXS data showed good correspondence with SEM and TEM.