Can we achieve ultra-low resistivity in carbon nanotube-based metal composites?
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- Hjortstam, O., Isberg, P., Söderholm, S. et al. Appl. Phys. A (2004) 78: 1175. doi:10.1007/s00339-003-2424-x
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A concept for creating a future ultra-low-resistivity material based on a carbon nanotube–metal composite is presented. Using a simple effective-medium model it is shown that a room-temperature resistivity 50% lower than Cu is achievable. This article sets a goal for future R&D activities, although a number of technical as well as scientific problems are to be solved before realising the suggested concept. The ultra-low resistivity is possible because the ballistic conducting carbon nanotubes have an electron mean free path several orders of magnitude longer than metals like Cu and Ag. This implies that a system with parallel-connected tubes can indeed have a room-temperature resistivity far below the resistivity of conventional metal conductors like Al, Cu and Ag.