IF-WS2/nanostructured carbon hybrids generation and their characterization
Luhrs, Claudia C.
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With the aim to develop a new generation of materials that combine either the known energy absorbing properties of carbon nanofibers (CNF), or the carbon-carbon bond strength of graphene sheets (G), with the shock resistance properties reported for Inorganic Fullerene type WS2 structures (IF-WS2), hybrid CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 were generated, characterized and tested. Experimentation revealed that in situ growth of carbon nanostructures with inorganic fullerene tungsten disulfide particulates had to be performed from particular precursors and fabrication conditions to avoid undesirable byproducts that hinder fiber growth or deter graphene generation. The novel protocols that allowed us to integrate the IF-WS2 with the carbon nanostructures, producing dispersions at the nanoscale, are reported. Resulting hybrid CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 products were analyzed by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy). The thermal stability of samples in air was evaluated by Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 hybrids were introduced into epoxy matrices, and the mechanical properties of the resulting composites were analyzed using nanoindentation. Epoxy composite samples showed drastic improvements in the Young's modulus and hardness values by the use of only 1% hybrid weight loadings. The carbon nanofiber inclusions seem to have a much greater impact on the mechanical properties of the composite than the graphene based counterparts.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/inorganics2020211
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