Nanotomography of Polymer Nanocomposite Nanofibers
Nanotechnology and nanomaterials were not understood until they could be observed. In fact, many nanomaterials were in use long before their nano-features were seen. As we begin to understand mechanics at the nano-scale, we can design new materials with tailored performance. Polymer nanocomposites are a good example. Characterizing nanoscale interactions at the interface of fillers helps in understanding the unusually high scaling of mechanical performance with increased nano-phase fraction. X-Ray Tomography is a non-destructive technique which images material phases based on their density. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)-graphene nanocomposites were prepared using Forcespinning and injection molding. These nanocomposites were imaged with several techniques. Nanocomposites prepared using Forcespinning gave fibers with an average diameter of 400 nm, with reinforcement sizes ranging from a few nanometers to micrometers. Hard X-ray phase contrast synchrotron nanotomography was employed for imaging the nanofiber, features as small as 15 nm were visible. The influence of processing technique on nanoplatelet dispersion was observed as well as implications to mechanical properties of the nanocomposite.
KeywordsTomography PET Nanofibers Synchrotron
Use of the Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. The authors would like to acknowledge FibeRio Technology Inc, for providing the nanofiber sample and Dr. Mourad Benamara, Electron Optics and Analytical Facility, University of Arkansas for assistance with HRTEM imaging. We want to express thanks to Masoud Allahkarami for his time and assistance with the microscopy imaging. This work was also partially supported through donations to the OSU-Foundation for research and the Helmerich Research Center.
- 10.Long TE (2003) Modern polyesters: chemistry and technology of polyesters and copolyesters. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
- 18.Zernike F (1935) Das Phasenkontrastverfahren bei der mikroskopischen Beobachtung. Zeitschrift für technische Physik 36:848–851Google Scholar