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Graphene nanoplatelet-polyetherimide composites: Revealed morphology and relation to properties

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Correspondence to: H. Wu (E-mail: huang.wu.84@gmail.com)

ABSTRACT

In this research, a novel sample preparation technique was applied to reveal the morphology exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets [GNP, ∼10 nm thick and ∼5 µm in diameter)] and Polyetherimide (PEId) nanocomposite and study the relationship between processing and properties. The morphology of nanoscale fillers used to be hard to capture through conventional sample preparation. The polish-plasma etching approach presented in this article successfully created contrast between filler and matrix. As a result, distribution and orientation of the fillers were obtained to study the effect of injection molding, compression molding and annealing. It was found that the orientation was significantly different depending on processing routes. The information obtained from morphology study also led to the modification of Tandon–Weng model, resulting in improved prediction of elastic modulus of the composite. The SEM images also clearly revealed change of filler orientation after annealing. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 4081–4089, 2013

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