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Issue 38, 2009
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Covalent polymer functionalization of graphene nanosheets and mechanical properties of composites

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Abstract

For developing high performance graphene-based nanocomposites, dispersal of graphene nanosheets in polymer hosts and precise interface control are challenging due to their strong interlayer cohesive energy and surface inertia. Here we report an efficient method to functionalize graphene nanosheets. The initiator molecules were covalently bonded to the graphene surface via a diazonium addition and the succeeding atom transfer radical polymerization linked polystyrene chains (82 wt% grafting efficiency) to the graphene nanosheets. The prominent confinement effect arising from nanosheets resulted in a 15 °C increase in the glass transition temperature of polystyrene compared to the pure polymer. The resulting polystyrene nanocomposites with 0.9 wt% graphene nanosheets revealed around 70% and 57% increases in tensile strength and Young's modulus. The protocol is believed to offer possibilities for optimizing the processing properties and interface structure of graphene-polymer nanocomposites.

Graphical abstract: Covalent polymer functionalization of graphene nanosheets and mechanical properties of composites

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Apr 2009, accepted on 09 Jul 2009 and first published on 10 Aug 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B908220D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2009,19, 7098-7105
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    Covalent polymer functionalization of graphene nanosheets and mechanical properties of composites

    M. Fang, K. Wang, H. Lu, Y. Yang and S. Nutt, J. Mater. Chem., 2009, 19, 7098
    DOI: 10.1039/B908220D

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