Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Characterization of Graphene-Cellulose Nanocomposites

R Rahman and JT Foster and A Haque, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 117, 5344-5353 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/jp402814t

The mechanical properties of graphene-cellulose (GC) nanocomposites are investigated using molecular dynamic (MD) simulations in this work. The influences of graphene concentrations, aspect ratios, and agglomeration on elastic constants and interfacial properties are reported. A polymer consistent force field (pcff) was used in the analysis. The GC nanocomposites system underwent NVT (constant number of atoms, volume, and temperature) and NPT (constant number of atoms, pressure, and temperature) ensemble with an applied uniform strain during the MD simulations. The stress-strain responses were evaluated for both randomly dispersed and stacked GC unit cell in order to study the effects of graphene concentrations, aspect ratio, and agglomeration on Young's modulus. The results indicate that Young's modulus of neat cellulose may be enhanced by incorporating graphene in the GC nanocomposites. It is observed that dispersed graphene shows a comparatively higher Young's modulus than the same with agglomerated graphene. The cohesive and pullout forces versus displacement data are reported under normal and shear modes. It is seen that both cohesive and pullout forces are enhanced for GC specimens with higher graphene aspect ratios due to enlarged surface/interfacial area. The MD simulation results show reasonable agreement with available experimental data.

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