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Orientation of Carbon Nanotubes in Polymer Composites (ORITUPOCO)
Start date: 01 Apr 2009, End date: 31 Mar 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Proposal plans to prepare well-aligned carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer composites. The orientation of CNTs will be reached by two ways. By the first way, well-dispersed surface modified CNTs in gel network will be uniaxially stretched and then cross-linked further, to freeze to the oriented system. By the second way, CNTs with photo-active groups at surface will create self-assembled structures in polymer matrix. For this reason, it is necessary to perform surface modification of CNTs. It will be achieved by introducing of functional groups or oligomers miscible with polymer matrix to reach the best compatibility or by introducing the photo-active groups. Author believes that during self-assembly process of photo-active groups attached at nanotube surface they will induce the orientation of CNTs by light. Similar procedure with photo-active groups can be use in case of alignment by uniaxial stretching. For fixation of anisotropy after stretching the photo-active groups can be used again when oriented structure of CNTs is fixed by photocoupling and/or photocrosslinking at different stage of uniaxial stretching. The photocoupling or photocrosslinking produces strong chemical bonds that fix the internal structure of filler inside matrix. In addition the alignment can be affected by concentration of photo-active groups or used light. An influence of various wavelength, irradiation dose and type of polymer matrix on the orientation of CNTs and influence on mechanical and electrical properties of final CNT/polymer composite will be studied. Various optical, mechanical and electrical methods will be used for characterization of prepared composites. All data will be collected at various irradiation doses in order to be able to determine the photo-actuation behavior of composites.The ambitious goal of the proposal is photo-actuation of prepared CNT/polymer composites associated with new functionalization of CNTs."
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