Marilyn L. Minus* Heng Li, and Navidi Tajaddod


360 Huntington Avenue, 334SN
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA


In this work, the fundamental issue of dispersing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within a polymer matrix is addressed by studying phase separation processes.  Improper dispersion of nano-materials within polymer matrices remains a major challenge when processing nano-composite materials.  As a result, much fundamental understanding on the matter is still required. Experimental, theoretical, and molecular dynamics studies were performed to determine the mechanism behind forming blended regions in a nano-composite via phase separation, and to understand the specificity of preferential and inherent polymer-CNT interactions. To this end, a geometric dependence described by a ‘cylinder-in-sphere’ model was established and shows a link between the critical CNT bundle size and polymer radius of gyration, which dictates preferential polymer-CNT interactions. This model represents the interactive relationship required to form a blended polymer-CNT phase in the system under the phase separation conditions used. Understanding the use of phase separation as well as this geometrical dependence between filler and polymer is important to pinpoint nano-filler dispersion limits. Identifying these limits is critical toward the processing of a polymer-based composites.  In this way, the full potential of the nano-filler may be utilized.



Biographic Details

Marilyn L. Minus

Title: Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Country:

Phone: +1-617-373-2608 Fax: +1-617-373-2921 E-mail:

Research interests: nano-materials, composites, polymers, fibers and fiber spinning, carbon