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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Jul 20;127(28):9984-5.

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes with chemically grafted polyetherimides.

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  • 1Maurice Morton Institute and Department of Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325, USA.


Covalent attachment of a non-fluorinated polyetherimide onto the surface of carboxylic acid-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) has been achieved via grafting reactions. This confirms for the first time that the grafting reaction occurs at the nanotube surface when the carboxylic acid-functionalized MWNTs react with the polyetherimide with amine-terminated groups, through both amide and imide linkages formed at the interface between the carbon nanotubes and the polyetherimide. Additionally, an increase in the average molecular weight is detected in gel permeation chromatography when the polyetherimide is chemically attached onto the nanotubes. More interestingly, the chemical bonding at the interface provides much better interfacial adhesion and mechanical stress transfer, evidenced by a significant improvement in mechanical properties. As a result of the chemical attachment, the carbon nanotube-reinforced polyetherimide composite films have enhanced electrical conductivity, thermal deformation temperatures, and mechanical properties.

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