Effect of Nanotube Functionalization on the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of Nanocomposites Academic Article uri icon


  • Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are functionalized through both covalent and noncovalent bonding approaches to enhance dispersion and interfacial bonding. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the functionalized-SWNT-reinforced epoxy composites are measured with a thermal mechanical analyzer (TMA). Experimental results indicate that changes of the glass-transition temperature (T g ) in functionalized SWNT-polymer composites are dependent upon the functionalization methods. The CTE below the glass-transition temperature of nanocomposites with a 1 wt % loading of nanotubes is substantially diminished compared to a neat polymer. A reduction in the CTE of up to 52 % is observed for nanocomposites using functionalized nanotubes. However, the CTE above the T g significantly increases because of the contribution from phonon mode and Brownian motions of a large number of SWNTs in resin-crosslinked networks, but the increments are compromised by possible interfacial confinement. A tunable CTE induced through nanotube functionalization has application potentials for high-performance composites, intelligent materials, and circuit protections. 2007 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

published proceedings

  • Advanced Functional Materials

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, S., Liang, Z., Gonnet, P., Liao, Y., Wang, B., & Zhang, C.

citation count

  • 125

complete list of authors

  • Wang, S||Liang, Z||Gonnet, P||Liao, Y‐H||Wang, B||Zhang, C

publication date

  • January 2007