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Polymers and High Performance Materials


We investigate computationally the role of Stone-Wales (SW) defects on the interfacial interactions among graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and Nylon 6 using density functional theory (DFT) and the empirical force-field. Our first-principles DFT calculations were performed using the Quantum ESPRESSO electronic structure code with the highly accurate van der Waals functional (vdW-DF2). Both pristine and SW-defected carbon nanomaterials were investigated. The computed results show that the presence of SW defects on CNTs weakens the CNT-graphene interactions. Our result that CNT-graphene interaction is much stronger than CNT-CNT interaction indicates that graphene would be able to promote the dispersion of CNTs in the polymer matrix. Our results demonstrate that carbon nanomaterials form stable complexes with Nylon 6 and that the van der Waals interactions, as revealed by the electronic charge density difference maps, play a key stabilizing role on the interfacial interactions among graphene, CNTs, and Nylon 6. Using the density of states calculations, we observed that the bandgaps of graphene and CNTs were not significantly modified due to their interactions with Nylon 6. The Young’s moduli of complexes were found to be the averages of the moduli of their individual constituents. Published by AIP Publishing.

Publication Title

The Journal of Chemical Physics



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