Anisotropic electrical and thermal characteristics of carbon nanotube-embedded wood

Do Hyun Kim, In Yeob Na, Ho Kyun Jang, Hong Dae Kim, Gyu Tae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Wood has a long history as a traditional material which has been widely recognized to be hardly conductive electrically and thermally. Making wood conductive electrically and thermally is technically a new challenge to think outside the box. Here, we demonstrate that wood can be electrically and thermally conductive by dipping wood in the solution where multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) is dispersed evenly. Our idea is based on the fact that wood usually absorbs water or moisture due to its hygroscopic properties. When walnut wood was dipped in the MWCNT solution, the wood started to absorb water containing MWCNT. As a result, well-networked MWCNTs were homogeneously formed in the structure of wood with natural porosity. Interestingly, superior electrical and thermal conductivity were observed along the cellulose fiber direction of the walnut wood, compared with the tangential direction perpendicular to the fiber. We found that wood has electrically and thermally anisotropic characteristics due to the grain boundary by wood fibers. Furthermore, the degree of conductivity was controllable by varying dipping times. We think that this discovery will open a new avenue to utilize wood as a nanocomposite material having electrical and thermal properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5719-5730
Number of pages12
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2018R1D1A1B07049435) and by Nano Material Technology Development Program through the NRF funded by Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2017M3A7B4049119).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Anisotropy
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Sheet resistance
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Wood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics


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