Multiscale modeling of thermal conductivity of polymer/carbon nanocomposites

TC Clancy and SJV Frankland and JA Hinkley and TS Gates, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCES, 49, 1555-1560 (2010).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2010.05.007

Molecular dynamics simulation was used to estimate the interfacial thermal (Kapitza) resistance between nanoparticles and amorphous and crystalline polymer matrices. Bulk thermal conductivities of the nanocomposites were then estimated using an established effective medium approach. To study functionalization, oligomeric ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers were chemically bonded to a single wall carbon nanotube. The results, in a poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) matrix, are similar to those obtained previously for grafted linear hydrocarbon chains. To study the effect of non-covalent functionalization, two types of polyethylene matrices. aligned (extended-chain crystalline) vs. amorphous (random coils) were modeled. Both matrices produced the same interfacial thermal resistance values. Finally, functionalization of edges and faces of plate-like graphite nanoparticles was found to be only modestly effective in reducing the interfacial thermal resistance and improving the composite thermal conductivity. (C) 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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