Multi-walled carbon nanotubes coated by multi-layer silica for improving thermal conductivity of polymer composites
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- Guo, J., Saha, P., Liang, J. et al. J Therm Anal Calorim (2013) 113: 467. doi:10.1007/s10973-012-2902-5
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Silica has been non-covalently coated on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) using the sol–gel chemistry, where tetraethoxy silane (TEOS) was used to form an inorganic silica layer immediately next to surface of MWCNTs and octyl triethoxy silane was coated over the TEOS. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements show that the diameter of MWCNTs increases with increasing the number of coating layer, indicating that the silica has been coated on MWCNTs. Quantitative analysis from thermogravimetric analysis (TG) also indicates that the inorganic and organic silica has been successfully coated on MWCNTs. Further, quantitative analysis found that the amount of silica measured by TG agrees well with the increase of thickness of coated MWCNTs obtained from TEM, indicating that little or no free silica exists in the system. The thermal conductivity of epoxy/MWCNTs composite was studied and the results show that the thermal conductivity of the composite is improved by coating MWCNTs in this manner and increases with increasing the number of coatings.