Functionalized SWNT/polymer nanocomposites for dramatic property improvement

T. Ramanathan, H. Liu, L. C. Brinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present results for polymer nanocomposites of poly-(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and amide-functionalized SWNTs. The results demonstrate that even at very low loadings, 1 wt% (0.5 vol%), the mechanical and electrical properties are significantly improved. The improvement over PMMA properties exceeds the theoretical bounds for composites with the same volume fraction loading of randomly oriented, straight, individually dispersed nanotubes. The modeling and experimental results thus suggest that the nanotube bundles are well dispersed in the polymer matrix, that the functionalization significantly improves interaction with polymer, and that the interphase formed has improved mechanical properties over that of the matrix material. Loss modulus results indicate a significant difference between functionalized and nonfunctionalized tubes in the composite. Functionalized tubes result in a composite in which relaxation mechanisms are shifted by 3°C from that of the matrix material, indicating extensive interphase regions and absence of PMMA with bulk properties. Unfunctionalized composites demonstrate a broadening of relaxation modes, but still retain the signature of bulk PMMA properties. These data suggest a morphological difference with a discrete interphase layer in unfunctionalized composites and a fully transformed matrix in the case of functionalization. This difference is consistent with electrical and mechanical property data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2269-2279
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Dispersion
  • Electrical properties
  • Functionalized SWNT
  • Mechanical properties
  • Morphology
  • PMMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Functionalized SWNT/polymer nanocomposites for dramatic property improvement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this