Molecular Alignment of a Meta-Aramid on Carbon Nanotubes by in Situ Interfacial Polymerization

Cécile A.C. Chazot*, Behzad Damirchi, Byeongdu Lee, Adri C.T. Van Duin, A. John Hart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Molecularly organized nanocomposites of polymers and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have great promise as high-performance materials; in particular, conformal deposition of polymers can control interfacial properties for mechanical load transfer, electrical or thermal transport, or electro/chemical transduction. However, controllability of polymer-CNT interaction remains a challenge with common processing methods that combine CNTs and polymers in melt or in solution, often leading to nonuniform polymer distribution and CNT aggregation. Here, we demonstrate CNTs within net-shape sheets can be controllably coated with a conformal coating of meta-aramid by simultaneous capillary infiltration and interfacial polymerization. We determine that π-interaction between the polymer and CNTs results in chain alignment parallel to the CNT outer wall. Subsequent nucleation and growth of the precipitated aramid forms a smooth continuous layered sheath around the CNTs. These findings motivate future investigation of mechanical properties of the resulting composites, and adaptation of the in situ polymerization method to other substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1006
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 9 2022


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Interfacial Polymerization
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Nucleation
  • Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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