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Synthesis and properties of poly(methyl methacrylate)/carbon nanotube composites covalently integrated through in situ radical polymerization

Authors

  • Liqiang Cui,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Ultramicrochemical Process System, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Guseong-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
    2. College of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, 579 Qianwangang Road Economic and Technical Development Zone, Qingdao Shandong Province, People's Republic of China
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  • Naresh H. Tarte,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Ultramicrochemical Process System, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Guseong-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
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  • Seong Ihl Woo

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Ultramicrochemical Process System, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Guseong-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
    • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Ultramicrochemical Process System, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Guseong-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
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Abstract

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) composites were synthesized by the grafting of PMMA onto the sidewalls of SWNTs via in situ radical polymerization. The free-radical initiators were covalently attached to the SWNTs by a well-known esterification method and confirmed by means of thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used to image the PMMA–SWNT composites; these images showed the presence of polymer layers on the surfaces of debundled, individual nanotubes. The PMMA–SWNT composites exhibited better solubility in chloroform than the solution-blended composite materials. On the other hand, compared to the neat PMMA, the PMMA–SWNT nanocomposites displayed a glass-transition temperature up to 6.0°C higher and a maximum thermal decomposition temperature up to 56.6°C higher. The unique properties of the nanocomposites resulted from the strong interactions between the SWNTs and the PMMA chains. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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