Metal coated functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes for composite applications
Barrera, Enrique V.
Doctor of Philosophy
This study is considered as a method for producing multifunctional composite materials by using metals coated Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs). In this research, various metals (Ni, Cu, Ag) were successfully deposited onto the surface of SWCNTs. It has been found that homogenous dispersion and dense nucleation sites are the necessary conditions to form uniform coatings on SWCNTs. Functionalization has been applied to achieve considerable improvement in the dispersion of purified SWCNTs and creates more nucleation sites for subsequent metal deposition. A three-step electroless plating approach was used and the coating mechanism is described in the paper. The samples were characterized by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Bulk copper/aluminum-SWNT composites were processed by powder metallurgy with wet mixing techniques. Coated SWCNTs were well dispersed in the metal matrix. Cold pressing followed by sintering was applied to control porosity. The relationships between hardness and SWCNTs addition were discussed. Ni-SWCNTs composite coatings were prepared by electro-composite deposition. SWCNTs were suspended in a Ni deposition electrolyte and deposited together with nickel during electrodeposition. SWCNTs concentrations in the coatings were found to be related to the SWCNTs concentration in the solution, current density and agitation rate. The microstructure of the coatings has been examined by electron microscopy. Ni coated SWCNTs were also incorporated into the high temperature Bismaleimide (BMI)/graphite composite to improve Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding and surface conductivity. The vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) was used to process these composites. Surface and volume resistivity and EMI shielding effectiveness of the composites were assessed. A comparison with baseline data of unfilled BMI fiber reinforced composites is presented.
Engineering; Materials science