Graphene/polyethylene nanocomposites: Effect of polyethylene functionalization and blending methods

Hyunwoo Kim, Shingo Kobayashi, Mohd A. Abdurrahim, Minglun J. Zhang, Albina Khusainova, Marc A. Hillmyer, Ahmed A. Abdala, Christopher W. MacOsko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

282 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since its recent successful isolation, graphene has attracted an enormous amount of scientific interest due to its exceptional physical properties. Graphene incorporation can improve electrical and mechanical properties of polymers including polyethylene (PE). However, the hydrophobic nature and low polarity of PE have made effective dispersion of nano-fillers difficult without compatibilization. Graphene was derived from graphite oxide (GO) via rapid thermal exfoliation and reduction. This thermally reduced graphene oxide (TRG) was blended via melt and solvent blending with linear low density PE (LLDPE) and its functionalized analogs (amine, nitrile and isocyanate) produced using a ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) strategy. TRG was well exfoliated in functionalized LLDPE while phase separated morphology was observed in the un-modified LLDPE. Transmission electron micrographs showed that solvent based blending more effectively dispersed these exfoliated carbon sheets than did melt compounding. Tensile modulus was higher for composites with functionalized polyethylenes when solvent blending was used. However, at less than 3 wt.% of TRG, electrical conductivity of the un-modified LLDPE was higher than that of the functionalized ones. This may be due to phase segregation between graphene and PE, and electrical percolation within the continuous filler-rich phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1846
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer
Volume52
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2011

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Keywords

  • Graphene
  • Polyethylene
  • Polymer nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Kim, H., Kobayashi, S., Abdurrahim, M. A., Zhang, M. J., Khusainova, A., Hillmyer, M. A., Abdala, A. A., & MacOsko, C. W. (2011). Graphene/polyethylene nanocomposites: Effect of polyethylene functionalization and blending methods. Polymer, 52(8), 1837-1846. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2011.02.017