Multi-scale electrical response of silicon nitride/multi-walled carbon nanotubes composites

J. González-Julián, Y. Iglesias, A. C. Caballero, M. Belmonte, L. Garzón, C. Ocal, P. Miranzo, M. I. Osendi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dense silicon nitride (Si3N4) composites with various amounts (0-8.6vol%) of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are electrically characterised by combining macroscopic dc-ac and nanoscale conductive scanning force microscopy (C-SFM) measurements. In this way, a coherent picture of the dominant charge transport mechanisms in Si3N4/MWCNTs composites is presented. A raise of more than 10 orders of magnitude in the electrical dc conductivity compared to the blank specimen is measured for MWCNTs contents above 0.9vol%. Semiconductor and metallic-like behaviours are observed depending on both the temperature and the MWCNTs content. Macroscopic measurements are further supported at the nanoscale by means of C-SFM. The metallic-type conduction is associated to charge transporting along the nanotube shells, whereas the semiconductor behaviour is linked to hopping conduction across nanotube-nanotube contacts and across intrinsic defect clusters within the nanotubes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalComposites Science and Technology
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

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