Title: Synthesis and characterisation of carbon nanotube reinforced copper matrix nanocomposites

Authors: F. Ahmad Khalid, Muhammad Bashir, S.N. Arshad

Addresses: Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, NWFP, Pakistan. ' Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, NWFP, Pakistan. ' Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, NWFP, Pakistan

Abstract: This work presents the multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) reinforced copper matrix nanocomposites that were synthesised by a chemical based route commonly known as molecular level mixing. These nanocomposites can exhibit much superior properties as compared to other metal matrix composites. A copper acetate monohydrate sample was mixed with CNTs in ethanol followed by drying, calcination, and reduction. This resulted in the formation of copper nanoparticles attached with uniformly dispersed CNTs. The samples at each process step were characterised by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Emphasis is placed on the functionalisation of the CNTs and its role in deagglomeration in order to achieve uniform mixing with the copper metal matrix. Sintering of the powder was done at 900°C for two hours and SEM studies revealed good retention and uniform distribution of CNTs in the copper-based matrix of the nanocomposite samples indicating considerable benefits of the synthesis process.

Keywords: synthesis; reinforced copper matrix nanocomposites; metal matrix composites; carbon nanotubes; CNT; copper acetate; functionalisation; molecular level mixing; copper nanoparticles; deagglomeration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNP.2008.020270

International Journal of Nanoparticles, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.164 - 173

Published online: 11 Sep 2008 *

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