Preparation and properties of polyamide 6 nanocomposites covalently linked with amide functional graphene oxide

Aidan O’Neill, David Bishop, Brendan Dalton, Edward Archer, Alistair McIlhagger, Dorian Dixon

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    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Chemically engineered polyamide 6 (PA6)/graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposites were produced via the functionalization of GO with an amide (CONH2) functional group, in order to produce amide-GO with improved interfacial bonding and dispersion in the host polymer matrix. In situ polymerization of "-caprolactam was carried out in the presence of amide-GO to create PA6/amide-GO nanocomposites. The nanomaterial (pre- and post-polymerization) and the composites were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and tensile testing. The single-layer nature of GO was attested by TEM. FTIR, XPS, XRD and thermal analysis techniques confirmed the successful amide modification of GO. The expected attachment of PA6 to the surface of GO is demonstrated, along with the reduction of GO during polymerization. Some reduction of GO during the chemical functionalization process was also observed. The thermal stability of the nanocomposites was confirmed, while promotion of α-phase crystallite formation and a molecular weight change of attached PA6 are observed. A linear improvement in stiffness and yield strength was observed as functionalized GO content increased from 0.1 wt% to 0.75 wt%. A levelling off of mechanical properties ensued once the GO content reached 1 wt%, and a decrease was seen at 2 wt%.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)162-180
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials
    Issue number2
    Early online date23 Dec 2016
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2018


    • Chemical functionalization
    • Graphene oxide
    • In situ polymerization
    • Polyamide 6


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