l-Phenylalanine amino acid functionalized multi walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) as a reinforced filler for improving mechanical and morphological properties of poly(vinyl alcohol)/MWCNT composite
Carbon nanotube dispersion in polymer matrix is one of the most crucially important aspects in carbon nanotube/polymer composites. This paper is aimed to discuss the considerable improvement in dispersion of multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) matrix that was attained through bio-functionalization of MWCNTs. Initially, for getting better dispersion in water, pure MWCNTs have been functionalized by l-phenylalanine amino acid. The functionalized MWCNTs (f-MWCNTs) show much enhanced solubility in water. So, effects of modified MWCNT on dispersion in PVA matrix and certain properties of the resulting composites, like; mechanical, thermal and morphological properties were studied. The prepared composites were examined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Also, the mechanical and thermal properties of composite films have been investigated and revealed that incorporation of just a few percent of f-MWCNTs can improve the PVA mechanical and thermal properties significantly.