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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011, Article ID 145148, 5 pages
Research Article

Localized Quantitative Characterization of Chemical Functionalization Effects on Adhesion Properties of SWNT

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA

Received 8 September 2010; Accepted 8 December 2010

Academic Editor: Teng Li

Copyright © 2011 Hao Lu 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.


Chemical modification of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) has been found to be an excellent method to promote SWNT dispersion, and possibly to improve interaction with matrices via covalent bonding. It is thus a quite promising technique to enhance the mechanical properties of SWNT-reinforced nanocomposites. However, the underlying mechanism of SWNT chemical functionalization effects on interfacial strength is not quantitatively understood, limiting their usefulness in the design of nanocomposites. In this work, an atomic force microscopy (AFM-) based adhesive force mapping technique combined with a statistical analysis method were developed and implemented to study adhesive interactions of small SWNT bundles functionalized by amino, epoxide, and hydroperoxide groups as compared to SDS-treated SWNT in controlled environment. Finally, the importance of such localized quantitative measurements in SWNT-reinforced nanocomposites design and fabrication was also discussed.