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A seminar on carbon nanotube speakers

Kaushik Joshi Click to edit Master subtitle style



multiphase solid

Types of nanocomposites
Ceramic matrix nanocomposites Metal matrix nanocomposites Polymer matrix nanocomposites Nanopolymers


Carbon nanotubes
Allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical


Members of the fullerene structural family Chemical bonding composed of sp2 bonds Categorized as single walled nanotubes and

multi walled nanotubes diamond

Bonds stronger than the sp3 bonds of The nanotubes are held together by van der
5/1/12 Waals


Types of carbon nanotubes

chiral parchment model

Single walled nanotubes- armchair, zigzag or Multi walled nanotubes-Russian doll model or Nanotorus-predicted to have high magnetic

moments in relation to size

Nanobud-combination of carbon nanotubes

and fullerenes (prevent slipping between nanotubes) semiconducting behaviour

Cup stacked carbon nanotubes exhibit 5/1/12

Properties of carbon nanotubes

Strength-strongest and stiffest material

known- Tensile strength measured at 63 GPa

Plastic deformation begins at strains of 5% Hardness measured at 62-152 GPa , Diamond

150 GPa Bulk modulus 462-546 GPa which is the highest known
Kinetic-Concentric tubes can slide with

respect to each other-This creates an atomically perfect bearing 5/1/12

Electrical- can be either metallic or

semiconducting depending on the rolling of the graphene sheet, current density can be a 1000 times higher than copper times that of copper but similar to that of soil in the radial direction

Thermal-thermal conductivity along axis 10

Temperature stability upto 750 degrees

centigrade in air and 2800 in a vacuum


Defects in carbon nanotubes

upto 85%

Atomic vacancies reduce tensile strength by The Stone Wales defect -rearrangement of

bonds creates a heptagon and pentagon pair

Crystallographic defects lead to lowered

conductivity magnetism

Single monoatomic vacancies induce Thermal conductivity strongly affected due to


crystallographic defects

Arc discharge- earliest method, 30% yield, few


Laser ablation- a pulsed laser vaporizes a

graphite target in the presence of an inert gas, 70% yield

Chemical vapor deposition- process gas and

carbon containing gas react in the presence of a metal catalyst at an elevated temperature


Current applications are limited to the use of

bulk nanotubes which are an unorganized mass tubes with different electrical properties

Could be used to make diodes by joining It is possible to theoretically make a 'space

elevator' by the use of carbon nanotubes

Paper batteries integrate capacitors and

conductors into a single structure formation

May be used as scaffold structures for bone 5/1/12

Consist essentially of a thin carbon nanotube

Carbon nanotube speakers

conventional speakers

film connected to an audio frequency current

Do not need a permanent magnet as do Th CNT film is composed of CNTs around

10nm in diameter and is put on two springs which also function as electrodes


Theoretical model
A laser vibrometer failed to detect any

vibration of the film

It was also observed that a partially broken

film could still generate sounds -impossible in case of a vibrating film since compression and rarefaction is impossible
Hence it was concluded that the alternating

current which periodically heated the film gave rise to a pressure oscillation in the surrounding air- a phenomenon known as the thermoacoustic effect 5/1/12

Variance from earlier model

Similar phenomena had been reported in the late 19th century with the material as very thin metal foil but the sound produced was very weak. However it had been understood that the sound propagation was due to the periodic heating and cooling of the film. It was also postulated that the sound pressure level was directly proportional to the input power and frequency and inversely proportional to the HCPUA (Since less heat is transmitted to air more the heat capacity). These postulates are qualitatively true in the case of CNT speakers 5/1/12

This is because the earlier model does factor in the heat loss from the surface of the thin film due to conduction convection and radiation. The earlier model is sufficient to explain the experimental data in the case of metal foils but not in the case of CNT thin film speakers.


Audio performance
One layer and four layer films were made for


The frequency of the sound produced is twice

that of the applied voltage since the heat produced is the same in both the positive and negative phase of the voltage cycle- rectified by a transistor
Sound pressure level is directly proportional

to the input level

SPL also increases with increasing frequency Total harmonic distortion is extremely small

Unique properties
Negligible weight, flexible and stretchable Thin film can be tailored to any shape and

many films can be joined together to create an enormous loudspeaker

No moving components Design of amplification circuit simpler due

pure resistance of the film

The resistance and hence heat produced in

the film can be changed simply by changing the position of electrodes

Transparency- may be directly mounted on 5/1/12

There is no doubt that as the prices of carbon nanotubes fall exponentially this type of speaker will become commercially viable due to its outstanding attributes


Thank you for you attention