Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Virginie Rollin

Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Daewon Kim

First Committee Member

Dr. Foram Madiyar


The purpose of this research is to study a novel non-covalent functionalization technique of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and to examine the feasibility of using carbon nanotube films as thin film heaters. We developed a unique methodology to synthesize a well dispersed, environmentally friendly solution of CNTs that could be easily spin coated as well as spray coated on different substrates based on the application. Using the produced solutions, thin films of SWCNTs were fabricated on a glass substrate. Two sets of experiments were conducted to study the influence of polyaromatic moiety and the pH on the electro thermal characteristics of the fabricated film heater. Comparative tests were done on the carbon nanotube-based film heater samples to study the film’s resistance and heat generated with the application of input power. It was found that samples resistance varied significantly based on the amount of polyaromatic moiety added to the CNTs and the fabricated films did not show any linear trend when comparative test was made based on pH. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report analyzing the influence of polyaromatic moiety and the pH on the resistance and heat characteristics of the fabricated film heater. We present experimental results showing that the developed approach and the modified CNT material could be a promising alternative for heating applications such as deicing and defrosting. Further, this study also discusses the limitations and improvements needed in experimentation process that could yield high performance CNT based heaters. The fabricated CNT films show fast heating and cooling rate at a low driving voltage. The results provided could be a useful approach for the engineering of highly flexible transparent CNT-based heaters.