Probing of polymer to carbon nanotube surface interactions within highly aligned electrospun nanofibers for advanced composites

King, S.G., Terrill, N.J., Goodwin, A.J., Stevens, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-3270-4040, Stolojan, V. and Silva, S.R.P., 2018. Probing of polymer to carbon nanotube surface interactions within highly aligned electrospun nanofibers for advanced composites. Carbon, 138, pp. 207-214. ISSN 0008-6223

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Abstract

By electrospinning poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-blended sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) functionalized carbon nanotube (CNT) solutions, we engineered single- and double-walled nanotubes into highly aligned arrays. CNT alignment was measured using electron microscopy and polarised Raman spectroscopy. Mechanical tensile testing demonstrates that a CNT loading of 3.9wt% increases the ultimate tensile strength and ductility of our composites by over a factor of 3, and the Young's modulus by over a factor of 4, to ∼260MPa. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals how the aligned nanotubes provide a solid structure, preventing polymer chains from slipping, as well as polymer crystallisation structures such as ‘shish-kebabs’ forming, which are responsible for the improved mechanical properties of the composite. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) reveals micellar and hexagonal columnar structures along the axis of the fibers, some of which are associated with the presence of the CNT, where these hexagonal structures are associated with the SDS functionalization on the CNT surfaces. This work demonstrates the benefits of CNT alignment within composites, revealing the effectiveness of the electrospinning technique, which enables significantly improved functionality, increasing the utility of the composites for use in many different technological areas.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Carbon
Creators: King, S.G., Terrill, N.J., Goodwin, A.J., Stevens, R., Stolojan, V. and Silva, S.R.P.
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Date: November 2018
Volume: 138
ISSN: 0008-6223
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.carbon.2018.06.019DOI
S000862231830575XPublisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 17 Aug 2018 13:35
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 03:00
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34349

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