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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Feb;5(3):807-14. doi: 10.1021/am302382m. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Tailoring polyacrylonitrile interfacial morphological structure by crystallization in the presence of single-wall carbon nanotubes.

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Northeastern University, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, 360 Huntington Avenue, 334 Snell Engineering Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5000, United States.


In order to improve stress transfer between polymer matrixes and nanofillers, controlling the structure development in the interphase region during composite processing is a necessity. For polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) composites, the formation of the PAN interphase in the presence of the SWNT as a function of processing conditions is studied. Under these conditions, three distinct interfacial coating morphologies of PAN are observed on SWNT. In the semidilute polymer concentration regime subjected to shearing, PAN extended-chain tubular coatings are formed on SWNT. Dilute PAN/SWNT quiescent solutions subjected to cooling yields hybrid periodic shish-kebab structures (first observation for PAN polymer), and dilute PAN/SWNT quiescent solutions subjected to rapid cooling results in the formation of an irregular PAN crystalline coating on the SWNT.

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