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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Oct 8;6(19):16621-30. doi: 10.1021/am5056849. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Carbon nanotube epoxy nanocomposites: the effects of interfacial modifications on the dynamic mechanical properties of the nanocomposites.

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Ohio Aerospace Institute , 22800 Cedar Point Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44142, United States.


Surface functionalization of pretreated carbon nanotubes (CNT) using aromatic, aliphatic, and aliphatic ether diamines was performed. The pretreatment of the CNT consisted of either acid- or photo-oxidation. The acid treated CNT had a higher initial oxygen content compared to the photo-oxidized CNT and this resulted in a higher density of functionalization. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to verify the presence of the oxygenated and amine moieties on the CNT surfaces. Epoxy/0.1 wt % CNT nanocomposites were prepared using the functionalized CNT and the bulk properties of the nanocomposites were examined. Macroscale correlations between the interfacial modification and bulk dynamic mechanical and thermal properties were observed. The amine modified epoxy/CNT nanocomposites exhibited up to a 1.9-fold improvement in storage modulus (G') below the glass transition (Tg) and up to an almost 4-fold increase above the Tg. They also exhibited a 3-10 °C increase in the glass transition temperature. The aromatic diamine surface modified epoxy/CNT nanocomposites resulted in the largest increase in shear moduli below and above the Tg and the largest increase in the Tg. Surface examination of the nanocomposites with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed indications of a greater adhesion of the epoxy resin matrix to the CNT, most likely due to the covalent bonding.


carbon nanotube; epoxy; polymer nanocomposites; surface functionalization


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