Effects of Graphene Oxidation on Interaction Energy and Interfacial Thermal Conductivity of Polymer Nanocomposite: A Molecular Dynamics Approach

FM Bellussi and CS Ezquerro and M Laspalas and A Chiminelli, NANOMATERIALS, 11, 1709 (2021).

DOI: 10.3390/nano11071709

Interfacial characteristics of polymer nanocomposites represent a crucial aspect to understand their global properties and to evaluate the interaction between nanofillers and matrix. In this work we used a molecular dynamics (MD) approach to characterize the interfacial region at the atomistic scale of graphene-based polymer nanocomposites. Three different polymer matrixes were considered, polylactic acid (PLA), polypropylene (PP) and epoxy resin (EPO), which were reinforced with three types of graphene fillers: pristine graphene (G), graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). In particular, the compatibility of the nanofillers in polymer matrixes were evaluated in terms of the interaction energy, while the interfacial thermal resistance (Kapitza resistance) between matrices and fillers was calculated with a nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) method. Results showed that the oxidation degree plays an important role on the studied properties of the interfacial region. In particular, it was observed that the Kapitza resistance is decreased in the oxidized graphene (GO and rGO), while interaction energy depended on the polarity of the polymer matrix molecules and the contribution of the Coulombic component.

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