One of the most promising applications of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) is the fabrication of thin conductive films. Their excellent electrical conductivity and high optical transparency make SWNT attractive coating materials for a large number of devices and may become a potential replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO). SWCNT may replace ITO, which is currently widely used in LCD and solar cells, but is relatively expensive and fragile. SWCNT might surpass ITO in optical, chemical and structural performance.
The formation of flexible transparent conducting films based on molecular composites consisting of CNTs and conducting polymers is ensured by the organization of interconnected conduction channels, the conductivity of which is determined by three mechanisms, including carrier transport via (i) percolation networks of CNTs, (ii) doped polymer regions, and (iii) molecular channels in gaps between nanotubes. The possibility of controlling the parameters of conduction in c-SWNT/PANI composite films has been shown, which provides prerequisites for the creation of various active electronic devices.
The electromechanical characteristics were evaluated by subjecting c-SWNT and c-SWNT/PANI films to more than 2000 cycles of bending–unbending by 90 degrees (contraction–extension of the film). The minimum radius of bending was about 3.5 mm. It was found that the sheet resistance at 0 degrees remained constant in the course of cyclic mechanical action. During the contraction–extension cycles, the resistance of c-SWNT and c-SWNT/PANI films changed by 3.5 and 3.3%, respectively.
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