Graphene nanoribbon-Polymer composites: The critical role of edge functionalization

Roey Nadiv, Michael Shtein, Matat Buzaglo, Sivan Peretz-Damari, Anton Kovalchuk, Tuo Wang, James M. Tour, Oren Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The extraordinary mechanical properties of graphene prompt its incorporation into a wide range of polymeric nanocomposite materials (NCMs). However, similar to other nanomaterials (NMs), the reinforcement efficiency of graphene and its derivatives is hindered by their agglomeration and poor compatibility with the polymer matrix. In this paper, edge-functionalized graphene nanoribbons (EF-GNR) are incorporated in brittle epoxy polymer matrix. The functionalization process by polyvinylamine (PVAM) chains occurs only at the edges, preserving the in-plane sp2 of the graphene; thereby the PVAM EF-GNRs are both compatible and strong. The produced NCMs exhibit a wide range of enhanced mechanical properties including fracture toughness, flexural strength and shear strength at low EF-GNR loading (0.15 wt%). The effect of the edge functionalization is indeed critical, demonstrating superior mechanical properties by the EF-GNR loaded NCMs compared to pristine-GNR loaded composites. Finally, a comparative overview of various carbon NM-loaded NCMs indicates that EF-GNR possess high reinforcement efficiency (enhancement % per NM loading %) making it an attractive filler for polymer systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Abbreviations CNT Carbon nanotube
  • DTG derivative thermogravimetry
  • EF-GNR edge functionalized graphene nanoribbon
  • FT fracture toughness
  • GNP graphene nanoplatelet
  • GNR graphene nanoribbon
  • GO graphene oxide
  • NCM nanocomposite material
  • NM nano material
  • PVAM polyvinylamine
  • SEM scanning electron microscope
  • TEM transmission electron microscopy
  • XPS X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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