This investigation highlights different surface functionalization processes of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and their effects on mechanical properties of polyetherimide nanocomposite. Surfaces of MWCNTs were modified by chemical process and by low-pressure plasma process. There is a significant change in physicochemical characteristics of MWCNTs after chemical and low plasma treatment evident from scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies. Due to surface modification of CNTs, there is a significant change in surface morphology and increase in oxygen functionalities such as C=O, C–O, and COOH especially evident in low-pressure plasma treatment; however, differential scanning calorimeter and thermogravimetric analysis studies reveal that thermal properties of the composite do not alter as such. There is a significant increase in mechanical properties of high-performance polymeric nanocomposites when surface-functionalized MWCNTs are dispersed in polymeric matrix; however, surface characteristics of the composite remain almost unchanged evident from contact angle and surface energy studies.
G. Ajeesh, Shantanu Bhowmik, Dr. Sivakumar V., Lalit, V., Abrar, B., Yurim, P., Son, G., and Chun, G. Kim, “Influence of Chemically and Plasma Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes on High Performance Polymeric Nano Composites (Accepted)”, Journal of High Performance Polymers, vol. 28, no. 5, 2016.