Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Chair

Dr. Jeffrey S. Wiggins

Committee Chair Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 2

Dr. Sarah E. Morgan

Committee Member 2 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 3

Dr. Sergei I. Nazarenko

Committee Member 3 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 4

Dr. Robson F. Storey

Committee Member 4 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Committee Member 5

Dr. Gopinath Subramanian

Committee Member 5 Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

The body of this work describes a novel approach for the dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a high Tg epoxy prepolymer matrix using a twin screw high-shear continuous reactor. The method demonstrated improves on previous dispersion methods in several ways. It offers increased efficiency through excellent heat transfer, while being solvent-less, scale-able, and tailorable to drive dispersion states to judiciously chosen dispersion states. Furthermore, it was shown that dispersion state and agglomerate morphology can be directed, in several ways, through processing conditions and also by controlling the matrix viscosity profile through cure. Broadband dielectric spectroscopy, optical hot-stage microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were used to both directly and indirectly monitor agglomerate dispersion state and track secondary agglomeration through to a cured and vitrified material.

ORCID ID

orcid.org/0000-0002-1950-1222

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