Morphology and properties of melt-spun polycarbonate fibers containing single- and multi-wall carbon nanotubes

T. D. Fornes, J. W. Baur, Y. Sabba, E. L. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polycarbonate fibers based single wall and multi-wall nanotubes (SWNT and MWNT) were prepared by first dispersing the nanotubes via solvent blending and/or melt extrusion followed by melt spinning the composites to facilitate nanotube alignment along the fiber axis. Morphological studies involving polarized Raman spectroscopy and wide angle X-ray scattering using a synchrotron radiation source show that reasonable levels of nanotube alignment are achievable. Detailed transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations on the polymer-extracted composite fibers reveal that MWNT more readily disperse within the PC matrix and have higher aspect ratios than do SWNT; extraction of the polymer from the composite prior to TEM imaging helps overcome the common issue of poor atomic contrast between the CNT and the organic matrix. Stress-strain analysis on the composites fibers show that MWNT, in general, provide greater stiffness and strength than those based on SWNT. Despite significant reinforcement of the polycarbonate, the level of reinforcement is far below what could be achieved if the nanotubes were completely dispersed and aligned along the fiber axis as predicted by composite theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1704-1714
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 22 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • MWNT
  • Polycarbonate
  • SWNT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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