Five vapor-grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF) reinforced vinyl ester (VE) nanocomposite configurations were fabricated, imaged, and mechanically tested in order to obtain information on the influence and the interactions of the role of the microstructure at lower length scales on the observed continuum level properties/response. Three independent variables (the nanofiber weight fraction and two types of nanofiber mixing techniques) were chosen to be varied from low, middle, and high values at equally spaced intervals. Multiple mixing techniques were studied to gain insight into the effect of mixing on the VGCNF dispersion within the VE matrix. The point count method was used for both lower length-scale imaging techniques to provide quantitative approximations of the magnitude and the distribution of such lower length-scale features. Finally, an inverse relationship was shown to exist between the stiffness and strength properties of the resulting nanocomposites under uniaxial quasistatic compression loading.
Nanocomposites comprised of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets and magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles were synthesized by a sol-gel process. The synthesized samples were studied by X-ray powder diffraction, atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The results show that the MgO nanoparticles, with an average diameter of 70 nm, are decorated uniformly on the surface of the GOs. By controlling the concentration of the MgO precursors and reaction cycles, it was possible to control the loading density and the size of the resulting MgO particles. Because the MgO particles are robustly anchored on the GO structure, the MgO/GOs nanocomposites will have future applications in the fields of adsorption and chemical sensing.
The synthesis of carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) by a chemical vapor deposition method using three different plant oils as precursors is presented. Because there are four parameters involved in the synthesis of CNM (i.e., the precursor, reaction temperature of the furnace, catalysts, and the carrier gas), each having three variables, it was decided to use the Taguchi optimization method with the ‘the larger the better’ concept. The best parameter regarding the yield of carbon varied for each type of precursor oil. It was a temperature of 900°C + Ni as a catalyst for neem oil; 700°C + Co for karanja oil and 500°C + Zn as a catalyst for castor oil. The morphology of the nanocarbon produced was also impacted by different parameters. Neem oil and castor oil produced carbon nanotube (CNT) at 900°C; at lower temperatures, sphere-like structures developed. In contrast, karanja oil produced CNTs at all the assessed temperatures. X-ray diffraction and Raman diffraction analyses confirmed that the nanocarbon (both carbon nano beads and CNTs) produced were graphitic in nature.
A supercritical carbon dioxide (SCC) process of dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into epoxy resin has been developed to achieve MWCNT/epoxy composites (CECs) with improved mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. The synthesis of CECs has been executed at a MWCNT (phr) concentration ranging from 0.1 to 0.3 into epoxy resin (0.1 mol) at 1800 psi, 90°C, and 1500 rpm over 1 h followed by curing of the MWCNT/epoxy formulations with triethylene tetramine (15 phr). The effect of SCC treatment on the qualitative dispersion of MWCNTs at various concentrations into the epoxy has been investigated through spectra analyses and microscopy. The developed SCC assisted process provides a good dispersion of MWCNTs into the epoxy up to a MWCNT concentration of 0.2. The effects of SCC assisted dispersion at various concentrations of MWCNTs on modification of mechanical, thermal, dynamic mechanical thermal, and tribological properties and the electrical conductivity of CECs have been investigated.
In this work, we report in-situ observations of changes in catalyst morphology, and of growth termination of individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs), by complete loss of the catalyst particle attached to it. The observations strongly support the growth-termination mechanism of CNT forests or carpets by dynamic morphological evolution of catalyst particles induced by Ostwald ripening, and sub-surface diffusion. We show that in the tip-growth mode, as well as in the base-growth mode, the growth termination of CNT by dissolution of catalyst particles is plausible. This may allow the growth termination mechanism by evolution of catalyst morphology to be applicable to not only CNT forest growth, but also to other growth methods (for example, floating-catalyst chemical vapor deposition), which do not use any supporting layer or substrate beneath a catalyst layer.
Potassium hydroxide-activated carbons (CK21, CK11, and CK12) were prepared from pistachio nutshells. Physicochemical properties of activated carbons were characterized by TGA, pHpzc, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and N2-adsorption at -196°C. The examinations showed that activated carbons have high surface area ranging between 695-1218 m2/g, total pore volume ranging between 0.527-0.772 mL/g, and a pore radius around 1.4 nm. The presence of acidic and basic surface C-O groups was confirmed. Batch adsorption experiments were carried out to study the effects of adsorbent dosage, temperature, initial concentration of adsorbate, and contact time on deltamethrin adsorption by activated carbons. The kinetic studies showed that the adsorption data followed a pseudo-second order kinetic model. The Langmuir model showed a maximum adsorption capacity of 162.6 mg/g at 35°C on CK12. Thermodynamic studies indicated that adsorption was spontaneous and increased with temperature, suggesting an endothermic process.
In this work, electroless Ni-plating on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ultra-fine fibers surfaces was carried out to improve the electric conductivity of the fiber. The surface properties of PET ultra-fine fibers were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and contact angle analyses. The electric conductivity of the fibers was measured using a 4-point testing method. The experimental results revealed the presence of island-like nickel clusters on the PET ultra-fine fibers surfaces in the initial plating state, and the electric conductivity of the Ni-plated fibers was enhanced with increasing plating time and thickness of the Ni-layers on the PET ultra-fine fibers.
In this study, we present a facile method of fabricating graphene oxide (GO) films on the surface of polyimide (PI) via layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of charged GO. The positively charged amino-phenyl functionalized GO (APGO) is alternatively complexed with the negatively charged GO through an electrostatic LBL assembly process. Furthermore, we investigated the water vapor transmission rate and oxygen transmission rate of the prepared (reduced GO [rGO]/rAPGO)10 deposited PI film (rGO/rAPGO/PI) and pure PI film. The water vapor transmission rate of the GO and APGO-coated PI composite film was increased due to the intrinsically hydrophilic property of the charged composite films. However, the oxygen transmission rate was decreased from 220 to 78 cm3/m2·day·atm, due to the barrier effect of the graphene films on the PI surface. Since the proposed method allows for large-scale production of graphene films, it is considered to have potential for utilization in various applications.
In this study, poly(amic acid) was prepared via a polycondensation reaction of 3,3’-dihydroxybenzidine and pyromellitic dianhydride in an N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone solution; reduced graphene oxide/polybenzoxazole (r-GO/PBO) composite films, which significantly increased the electrical conductivity, were successfully fabricated. GO was prepared from graphite using Brodie’s method. The GO was used as nanofillers for the preparation of r-GO/PBO composites through an in situ polymerization. The addition of 50 wt% GO led to a significant increase in the electrical conductivity of the composite films by more than sixteen orders of magnitude compared with that of pure PBO films as a result of the electrical percolation networks in the r-GO during the thermal treatment at various temperatures within the films.
Flexible transparent conducting films (TCFs) were fabricated by dip-coating single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) onto a flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. The amount of coated SWCNTs was controlled simply by dipping number. Because the performance of SWCNT-based TCFs is influenced by both electrical conductance and optical transmittance,we evaluated the film performance by introducing a film property factor using both the number of interconnected SWCNT bundles at intersection points, and the coverage of SWCNTs on the PET substrate, in field emission scanning electron microscopic images. The microscopic film property factor was in an excellent agreement with the macroscopic one determined from electrical conductance and optical transmittance measurements, especially for a small number of dippings. Therefore, the most crucial factor governing the performance of the SWCNT-based TCFs is a SWCNT-network structure with a large number of intersection points for a minimum amount of deposited SWCNTs.