Irradiation of Carbon Nanotubes and the Defect Related Interaction in Polymer-Nanotube Composites


Ananta R. Adhikari
Department of Natural Sciences
Assumption College
Worcester, MA

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique structures and outstanding thermo-physical properties. The understanding of defect related effects on CNTs is of great technological importance since CNTs are a promising material for various applications such as in space exploration. The interaction of energetic ions with CNT represents a unique method to study the effects of defects on the thermo-physical properties of CNT and the polymer nanotube composites. In the first part of the presentation, I will review the effects of energetic ions (Hydrogen, Helium, and Neon) on the thermal stability of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Results showed that thermal stability of SWNTs increased after Hydrogen and Helium implantation at smaller ion doses. The activation energies of thermal oxidation were also evaluated and compared. In the second half, I will present the use of irradiation induced defects in polymer nanocomposites. Defects were introduced in the CNTs using irradiation before composite formation. The defect dynamics and hence the interaction behavior of randomly dispersed nanotubes in polymer were investigated with several analysis techniques. Results indicated that at smaller number of defects, not only increase the interaction between filler and matrix, but also enhance the thermal stability of the composites. Based on the experimental data, a model is proposed to explain the increase in thermal stability.