This investigation highlights different surface functionalization processes of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and their effects on mechanical properties of polyetherimide nanocomposite. Surfaces of MWCNTs were modified by chemical process and by low-pressure plasma process. There is a significant change in physicochemical characteristics of MWCNTs after chemical and low plasma treatment evident from scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies. Due to surface modification of CNTs, there is a significant change in surface morphology and increase in oxygen functionalities such as C=O, C-O, and COOH especially evident in low-pressure plasma treatment; however, differential scanning calorimeter and thermogravimetric analysis studies reveal that thermal properties of the composite do not alter as such. There is a significant increase in mechanical properties of high-performance polymeric nanocomposites when surface-functionalized MWCNTs are dispersed in polymeric matrix; however, surface characteristics of the composite remain almost unchanged evident from contact angle and surface energy studies.
- Carbon nanotubes
- interfacial strength
- photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
- plasma deposition
- stress transfer