Interfacial strengthening between graphene and polymer through Stone- Thrower-Wales defects: Ab initio and molecular dynamics simulations

J Moon and S Yang and M Cho, CARBON, 118, 66-77 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2017.03.021

In this study, we revealed the interfacial strengthening mechanism between a Stone-Thrower-Wales (STW) defective single layer graphene and polypropylene (PP), through a density functional theory (DFT) simulation and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. In quantum mechanical simulation, the adhesion energy of propylene monomer on STW defective graphene is calculated with van der Waals interaction. An improved adsorption characteristic of propylene to the STW defective graphene is clearly observed, compared with a pristine counterpart. For deeper understanding of the adsorption, the electronic structure calculation and geometrical analysis of the adsorbed structures are also performed. In molecular dynamics simulation, three transversely isotropic nanocomposite unit cell structures consisting of PP and single layer graphene having a different number of STW defects are constructed. The stress-strain curves of nanocomposites according to the density of STW defects are obtained from uniaxial tension and shear tests. Since the properties of graphene itself are degraded by the STW defects, the overall stress-strain characteristics of nanocomposites involving the deformation of graphene are degraded by the addressed STW defects. However, in longitudinal shearing, where interfacial shearing between graphene and PP is involved, the STW defect can critically improve the shear load bearing capability. The increased interfacial shear load transfer is mostly attributed to the rippling of graphene at the STW defective sites, and the resultant surface roughness of graphene. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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