Statistical Sampling of Carbon Nanotube Populations by Thermogravimetric Analysis
Elisabeth Mansfield, Aparna Kar, Chih-Ming Wang, Ann C. Chiaramonti Debay
Carbon nanotubes are one of the most promising nanomaterials on the market, with applications in electronics devices, sensing, batteries, composites and medical communities. Strict control of the carbon nanotube chemistry and properties is necessary as the applications proceed into more specialized areas. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is one analytical method currently utilized for the characterization of carbon nanotubes. Though TGA can provide quantitative measurements of the content of a sample, many researchers do not ensure the variance within a material is statistically represented. This research demonstrates for four single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) samples how to statistically evaluate the material with TGA to ensure the variance within the material is represented. SEM results are used to help reach conclusions about purity of the material with an overall goal of choosing a SWCNT material with low variability and high quality.