Enhanced mechanical properties and morphological characterizations of poly(vinyl alcohol)-carbon nanotube composite films

Wei Chen, Xiaoming Tao, Pu Xue, Xiaoyin Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


Tensile tests were carried out on free-standing composite films of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) for different loading levels. Results show that overall mechanical properties of the composite were greatly improved as compared to the neat PVA film. For PVA-based materials at significant high loading level such as 9.1 wt.% MWNTs, considerable increases in Young's modulus, tensile strength and toughness by factors of 4.5, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively, were achieved. Raman, SEM, TEM, and DSC techniques were used to evaluate the PVA/MWNTs composite system. Strong acid-modification of the pristine MWNTs and the subsequent ultrasonication processing allowed good distribution of the nanotubes in the matrix. SEM together with DSC result shows apparent good wetting of the nanotubes by the PVA matrix, which are supportive of good interfacial bonding between the modified carbon nanotubes and the hosting polymer matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1404-1409
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2005


  • Composite films
  • Multiwall carbon nanotube (MWNT)
  • Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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