Interfacial characteristics between flattened CNT stacks and polyimides: A molecular dynamics study

SU Patil and MS Radue and WA Pisani and P Deshpande and H Xu and H Al Mahmud and T Dumitrica and GM Odegard, COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 185, 109970 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2020.109970

New fabrication methods for carbon nanotube (CNT) networks have been reported, producing self-assembled stacks of flattened CNTs (flCNTs), which could potentially be infiltrated with polymers for enhanced load transfer. In this work, Molecular Dynamics simulation is used to model flCNT/polyimide nano-composites to characterize the interfacial characteristics. Two polyimides, fluorinated and non-fluorinated, are simulated and compared on the basis of interfacial interaction energy, friction force, and transverse strength. The results indicate that the fluorinated polyimide exhibits a lower interaction energy, higher frictional force, and higher peak strength in transverse tension relative to the non-fluorinated polyimide, which is likely due to the steric hindrance and interlocking of the fluorine atoms. The presence of polyimide significantly enhances the interfacial friction over bare incommensurate flCNTs. This study is intended to drive the design of new light-weight, high-strength materials involving flCNTs for aerospace structural applications.

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