Wettability investigation of UV/O3 and acid functionalized MWCNT and MWCNT/PMMA nanocomposites by contact angle measurement

Seil Kim, Abdullah Kafi, Ehsan Bafekrpour, Young-In Lee, Bronwyn Fox, Manwar Hussain, Yong-Ho Choa

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The dispersion state of individual MWCNT in the polymer matrix influences the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of the resulting composite. One method of obtaining a good dispersion state of MWCNT in a polymer matrix is to functionalize the surface ofMWCNTusing various treatments to enhance the surface energy and increase the dispersibility ofMWCNT. In this study, wettability and surface energy of UV/O3 and acid-treatedmultiwall carbon nanotubes(MWCNTs) and its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) polymer nanocomposites were measured using contact angle analysis in various solvent media. Contact angle analysis was based on ethylene glycol-water-glycerol probe liquid set and data was further fitted into geometric mean (Fowkes), van Oss-Chaudhury-Good (GvOC), and Chang-Qing-Chen (CQC) models to determine both nonpolar and acid base surface energy components. Analysis was conducted on MWCNT thin films subjected to different levels of UV/O3 and acid treatments as well as their resultingMWCNT/PMMA nanocomposites. Contact angle analysis of thin films and nanocomposites revealed that the total surface energy of all samples was well fitted with each other. In addition, CQC model was able to determine the surface nature and polarity ofMWCNT and its nanocomposites. Results indicated that the wettability changes in the thin filmand its nanocomposites are due to the change in surface chemistry. Finally, electrical properties of nanocomposites were measured to investigate the effect of surface functionality (acid or basic) on theMWCNT surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130270
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nanomaterials
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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