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Lightweight, flexible, high-performance carbon nanotube cables by scalable flow coating*



Nathan D. Orloff, Francesca Mirri, Aaron M. Forster, Rana NMN Ashkar, Robert Headrick, E. A. Bengio, Christian J. Long, April Choi, Yimin Luo, Angela R. Hight Walker, Paul Butler, Kalman D. Migler, Matteo Pasquali


Coaxial cables for data transmission are ubiquitously used in telecommunications, aerospace, automotive and robotics industries. Unfortunately, the metals used to make commercial cables are heavy and stiff. These undesirable traits are particularly problematic in aerospace applications, where weight is at a premium and flexibility is necessary to conform with the distributed layout of electronic components in satellites and aircrafts. The cable outer conductor (OC) is usually the heaviest component of modern data cables; therefore, exchanging the conventional metallic OC for lower weight materials with comparable transmission characteristics is highly desirable. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been recently proposed to replace the metal components in coaxial cables; however, signal attenuation has been inadequate in prototypes produced so far. Here, we fabricate the OC of coaxial data cables by directly coating a solution of CNTs in chlorosulfonic acid (CSA) onto the cable inner dielectric. When compared to commercial cables with metal (tin-coated copper) OC, the CNT coaxial data cables have comparable cable attenuation and mechanical durability but a 97 % lower component mass
Journal of the American Chemical Society


carbon nanotubes, coaxial cables, dip-coating, attenuation


Orloff, N. , Mirri, F. , Forster, A. , , R. , Headrick, R. , Bengio, E. , Long, C. , Choi, A. , Luo, Y. , Hight, A. , Butler, P. , Migler, K. and Pasquali, M. (2016), Lightweight, flexible, high-performance carbon nanotube cables by scalable flow coating*, Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created January 21, 2016, Updated January 27, 2020