University of Hertfordshire


  • Zongshuang Cao
  • Li Qiu
  • Yongzhen Yang
  • Yong Chen
  • Xuguang Liu
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)873-881
JournalApplied Surface Science
Journal publication date30 Oct 2015
Early online date14 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015


The effects of surface modifications of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the morphology, dynamic mechanical and tribological properties of multi-walled carbon nanotube/poly(ether ether ketone) (MWCNT/PEEK) composites have been investigated. MWCNTs were treated with mixed acids to obtain acid-functionalized MWCNTs. Then the acid-functionalized MWCNTs were modified with ethanolamine (named e-MWCNTs). The MWCNT/PEEK composites were prepared by a solution-blending method. A more homogeneous distribution of e-MWCNTs within the composites was found with scanning electron microscopy. Dynamic mechanical analysis demonstrated a clear increase in the storage modulus of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites because of the improved interfacial adhesion strength between e-MWCNTs and PEEK. Furthermore, the presence of e-MWCNTs caused an enhancement in the glass transition temperature of the composites. Wear tests have shown that the friction coefficient of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites decreased significantly during the test after the running-in period. This suggests that there is an obvious improvement in tribological properties of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites. Overall, the e-MWCNT/PEEK composites have exhibited improved properties and are promising for their applications in industry.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript of the following article: Zongshuang Cao, Li Qiu, Yongzhen Yang, Yongkang Chen, and Xuguang Liu, ‘The surface modifications of multi-walled carbon nanotubes for multi-walled carbon nanotube/poly(ether ether ketone) composites’, Applied Surface Science, Vol. 353: 873-881, October 2015, DOI:, made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License CC BY NC-ND 4.0 (

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