MORE | Summer 2020

Characterization of the CNT Agglomerate Interphase in a Three-Phase Nanocomposite

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This research explores the inhomogeneous interphase properties of three-phase polymer matrix composites (PMC) using PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping (PFQNM) technique. An abrupt transition in reduced modulus from 6-10 GPa to 4-7 GPa was identified between agglomerated CNT nanoparticles and surrounding epoxy matrix. These results verify the potential for nanofillers to influence bulk matrix properties and structural performance. Atomic scale quantitative characterization of the interphase zone in PMCs would further clarify the relationship between interphase properties and morphology.

Student researcher

Alek Pensky

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2020