ReaxFF reactive force field study of polymerization of polymer matrix in carbon nanotube–composite system
Human transport to Mars and deep space explorations demand the development of new materials with extraordinary high performance-to-mass ratios. Promising candidates to fulfill these requirements are ultra-high strength lightweight (UHSL) materials, which consist of polymer matrices fortified by pristine carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Previous investigations have showed that with an increase in CNT diameter, its preferred configuration changes from a circular form to a flattened shape that can be obtained in high pressure or tension conditions. The ReaxFF reactive force field can reveal detailed chemical interactions at the atomistic scale. To enable ReaxFF simulations on CNT/polymer interfaces, we trained force field parameters to capture the proper structure of flattened carbon nanotubes (flCNTs), i.e. dumbbell-like shape CNTs, against available polymer consistent force field – interface force field (PCFF-IFF) data which had good proximity to density functional theory (DFT) data. In this study we used accelerated ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulation using the optimized force field to study the polymerization of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol F (Bis F) and diethyltoluenediamine (DEDTA) molecules in vicinity of circular and flattened carbon nanotubes. Our results indicate that the flat regions of flCNT are more favorable spots for the polymers to settle compared to curved regions due to higher binding energies. Moreover, higher dimer generation around flCNT results in more effective coating of the nanotube which leads to higher load transfer in compared to circular CNT. According to our results there is a high alignment between polymers and nanotube surface which is due to strong π-π interactions of aromatic carbon rings in the polymers and nanotubes. These atomistic ReaxFF simulations indicate the capability of this method to simultaneously observe the polymerization of monomers along with their interactions with CNTs.
|Work Title||ReaxFF reactive force field study of polymerization of polymer matrix in carbon nanotube–composite system|
|License||In Copyright (Rights Reserved)|
|Publication Date||August 25, 2020|
|Deposited||April 07, 2021|
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