Polymeric materials have been widely used in almost every sector of industry. It is known that substantial enhancement in physical and mechanical properties of polymeric materials can be achieved by blending them with micro- or nano-sized particles to form nanocomposites. Recently, carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene have been added into polymers to improve their electrical conductivity and mechanical properties. Potential applications include organic field emitting displays, photovoltaic cells, electromagnetic-wave interference materials and nanocomposites with excellent mechanical performance. In spite of these promising applications, the fundamental understanding of conductivity and toughening mechanism in CNT and graphene polymer nanocomposite is still lacking, largely due to the complicated interactions between the nano-sized filler and the polymer matrix. In this presentation, our recent work on synthesis and modelling of CNT and graphene polymer nanocomposite will be introduced. The mechanical properties of CNT, graphene and filler-polymer interface were investigated using molecular dynamics simulations, taking into account the effects of atomic defects chemical functionalization. Extensive experiment and numerical simulation were carried out to investigate the conductivity of CNT nanocomposites.
Dr.Cheng Yan is an associate professor in materials engineering at QUT, with expertise in processing and characterization of composites, metallic materials,nanomaterials, numerical simulation and mechanical properties and failure of various materials and structures. He has been awarded 2 competitive Australian Research Council (ARC) fellowships (APD and ARF) and granted over $5 mfrom various research funds, including 9 ARC projects.Dr. Yan has generated 200 publications with over100 ininternational journals, and maintained broad collaboration with leading international universities and research organizations. Recently, he was awarded the inaugural Queensland International Fellowship. He is the member of steering committee of ATN-ISTA nanotechnology network and Australia Fracture Group.