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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2008, Article ID 310126, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/310126
Research Article

Effect of Carbon Nanofiber-Matrix Adhesion on Polymeric Nanocomposite Properties—Part II

University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton 45469, OH, USA

Received 22 March 2007; Accepted 5 July 2007

Academic Editor: Donglu Shi

Copyright © 2008 Khalid Lafdi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A successful integration of two independent phases with good adhesion is imperative for effective translation of superior carbon nanofiber filler properties into a physically superior carbon nanocomposite. Carbon nanofibers were subjected to electrochemical oxidation in 0.1 M nitric acid for varying times. The strength of adhesion between the nanofiber and an epoxy matrix was characterized by flexural strength and modulus. The surface functional groups formed and their concentration of nanofibers showed a dependence on the degree of oxidation. The addition of chemical functional groups on the nanofiber surface allows them to physically and chemically adhere to the continuous resin matrix. The chemical interaction with the continuous epoxy matrix results in the creation of an interphase region. The ability to chemically and physically interact with the epoxy region is beneficial to the mechanical properties of a carbon nanocomposite. A tailored degree of surface functionalization was found to increase adhesion to the matrix and increase flexural modulus.