Magnetic structuring of nickel-coated carbon nanotubes with diazonium treatment for tailorable and bulk nanocomposite fabrication

Shreya Trivedi, Melissa Rudolph, James Adair, Namiko Yamamoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Polymer nanocomposites are novel materials sought-after for their tailorable and advanced mechanical, electrical, thermal, and actuation/sensing properties. Desired property enhancement of nanocomposites relies on controlled distribution of nanofillers. However, it is difficult to achieve controlled distribution of nanofillers in bulk production. In this work, we experimentally investigate active nanofiller assembly using external magnetic fields, as a simple, non-contact, scalable, and energy-efficient manufacturing solution of polymer nanocomposites. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are selected as the nanofiller, because of their high mass-specific strength and transport properties. We first processed CNTs to make them magnetically responsive, by e-beam coating the CNT tips with nickel (Ni), after functionalizing their surfaces with oxygen plasma to promote Ni-CNT adherence. Then, we attached diazonium salt on the CNT surfaces, to improve their dispersion in and to promote covalent bonding with the bisphenol-F based epoxy matrix. CNT alignment was achieved within the viscous matrix (~70 cP), after the short (~40 min) magnetic field application of small strength (~400 G vs. ∼50 G of a typical refrigerator magnet). Further 3D tomography inspection will be conducted about CNT structuring, and associated thermal and electrical transport properties will be characterized for structure-property relationship studies in future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSAMPE Long Beach 2018 Conference and Exhibition
EditorsKara Storage, Thomas Sutter, Scott Beckwith, Gary Bond, Tara Storage
PublisherSoc. for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering
ISBN (Electronic)9781934551271
StatePublished - 2018
EventSAMPE Long Beach 2018 Conference and Exhibition - Long Beach, United States
Duration: May 21 2018May 24 2018

Publication series

NameInternational SAMPE Technical Conference


OtherSAMPE Long Beach 2018 Conference and Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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