A non-oxidative method based on thiol-ene click chemistry for functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) was performed in order to improve the interfacial interactions between epoxy matrix and CNT. In this way, the CNT was aminated using 2-aminoethanethiol hydrochloride radicals thermally produced by a peroxide radical initiator. The aminated CNT (CNT-NH2) was characterized by FTIR, TGA, and solubility evaluations, confirming that thiol radicals are successfully grafted onto the CNT surface with a proper yield. Various percentages of pure CNT (p-CNT) and CNT-NH2 were then incorporated into epoxy matrix to evaluate the effect of the functionalization of CNT on thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties. The nanocomposites were characterized by DMA, tensile testing, and TGA. Results showed that glass transition temperature, tensile properties and thermal stability of epoxy nanocomposites containing CNT-NH2 improves significantly compared to those containing unmodified CNT. These results prove the role of amino-functionalization in improving the interfacial adhesion between epoxy and CNT, which was further confirmed by morphological observations of fracture surfaces of the nanocomposites.
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