Spectroscopic and molecular-dynamics analyses to characterize CNT/polymer composites.
Prioriello A., Andreani C., Fazi L., Licoccia S., Morales P., Preziosi E., Romanelli G., Scacco V., Senesi R.
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) incorporation in polymeric composite materials allows the realization of planar and stretchable conductors, which can find application in electronics, sensors and medicine. A stable CNT grafting on polymer through adhesion can be achieved with a thermal cycle close to the melting temperatures of the host polymer matrices, without the use of reagents or chemical catalysts. Nevertheless, this process requires a deeper investigation because the grafting mechanisms affects the properties of the composite. In this work, information about the composite material conformation at the polymer-CNT interface has been obtained via Confocal Raman Microscopy but to better investigate the interaction between CNT and polymeric chains an additional molecular-dynamics study has been carried out. These analyses provide a twofold insight on different scales of the interaction mechanism existing between nanotubes and polymeric chains and they allow to estimate how much nanotubes penetrate the substrate, affecting the composite's properties. Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche -- within CNR-STFC Grant Agreement [No. 2014-2020 (N 3420)] concerning collaboration in scientific research at the ISIS (UK) of STFC -- and of the JRU ISIS@MACH ITALIA, Research Infrastructure hub of ISIS (UK) -- MUR official registry U. 0008642.28-05-2020.