2018 MRS Spring Meeting

Tutorial NM06—Nanodiamonds for Applications in Composites

Monday, April 02, 2018
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
PCC North, 200 Level, Room 227 BC

This tutorial is aimed at researchers from academia and industry. Polymer composites is one of the most attractive potential commercial applications of NDs. We believe that it will be well attended by students, young researchers who just start to work on ND nanocomposites, as well as experts in the field.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Part I: Vadym Mochalin
Advantages of Nanodiamond for Composite Applications
Polymer reinforcement has been one of the first and most obvious applications for nanodiamond particles. According to modern definition, polymer nanocomposite is a material consisting of a polymer matrix and filler nanoparticles, which have at least one dimension in the nanoscale range (less than 100 nm). The nanofillers can be zeroone, or two-dimensional, having 0, 1, or 2 dimensions larger than 100 nm, correspondingly. Among different nanofillers, nanodiamond particles (NDs) produced by detonation hold a special place. These nanoscale approximately spherical diamond particles with ~5 nm diameter and a narrow particle size distribution feature chemically inert cores with superior mechanical properties characteristic of bulk diamond and fully accessible external reactive surfaces terminated by a large number of tailorable functional groups. Unique characteristics combined with a moderate production cost and commercial availability favorably distinguish NDs from many other nanoparticles (nanotubes, graphene, polymers, metals, ceramics, etc.), which have been tried as fillers in polymer nanocomposites. Main advantages of ND particles for nanocomposites stem from these unique properties: (1) diamond structure that provides superior Young's modulus, hardness, high thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity, low coefficient of friction, chemical stability and biocompatibility; (2) small and uniform size, eliminating the need for costly fractionation procedures required for some other nanoparticles; (3) nearly spherical shape as compared to carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc.; (4) large and accessible external surface, maximizing interactions with the matrix, that is, the interphase volume; (5) rich and tailorable surface chemistry, providing great flexibility for rational design of ND–matrix interface.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm   BREAK

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Part II: Vadym Mochalin
Incorporation of Nanodiamond into Composites (overview of techniques with selected examples)
We will review the most prominent and recent results in ND-polymer composites. We will illustrate the advantages of well-dispersed NDs with tailored chemistry to produce the maximal improvements in mechanical, optical, electrical and thermal properties of thermoplastic, thermosetting and elastomer polymer matrices. ND surface modification techniques aimed to increase dispersibility and form strong covalent interface to the matrix will be reviewed. We will also review the most successful ND dispersion techniques in polymers based on solution processing, melting, extrusion and other common methods of polymer processing. Finally, the applications of ND containing composites will be considered starting from high strength materials to biomedical applications as biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds and surgical fixation tools.


  • Vadym Mochalin, Missouri University of Science and Technology