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In recent years, nanocomposites have captured and held the attention and imagination of scientists and engineers alike. Based on the simple premise that by using a wide range of building blocks with dimensions in the nanosize region, it is possible to design and create new materials with unprecedented flexibility and improvements in their physical properties.
This book contains the essence of this emerging technology, the underlying science and motivation behind the design of these structures and the future, particularly from the perspective of applications. It is intended to be a reference handbook for future scientists and hence carries the basic science and the fundamental engineering principles that lead to the fabrication and property evaluation of nanocomposite materials in different areas of materials science and technology.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...captures the essence of this emerging technology. It examines the underlying science and motivation behind the design of these structures, and looks into the future, particularly from the perspective of applications."
PROCESS worldwide

"This book grew on me the more I read it. It really does achieve the editors' aim of providing examples and concepts that elucidate the nature of the field. The style is clear and the writing excellent. It is much more readable than the catalogue-style literature review often presented, and the authors have clearly not only exercised judgment in their selection of topics, they are all able to weave them into a coherent narrative. Even the fourth chapter, in which modelling of nanocomposites is surveyed in seven pages without a single equation, is an elegant tour de de force...This book will repay the thoughtful reader and is to be recommended as a guide to this exciting field."

Stephen Kukureka FIMMM (Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham), Materials World 2/04

"...a valuable up-tp-date reference excellent book...which gives the essence of this emerging material science field..."

Polymer News

"...will repay the thoughtful reader and is to be recommended as a guide to this exciting field..." Materials World, Vol 12(2), Feb 200

Erwähnung in: Tehnicki V Jesnik 10/03

Erwähnung mit Cover in: Process April 2004

"...Nanocomposite Science and Technology is an excellent book that provides systematic coverage of all basic nanocomposite principles and in-depth discussions on selected topics."

Polymer News, 2004 Vol. 29

"... the book can serve as a valuable source of inspiration for materials scientists and engineers in general. It can be recommended as a further reading for a relatively wide audience."

Willi Pabst, Ceramics - Silikaty, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, 3/2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783527303595
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/31/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 7.03 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Pulickel M. Ajayan is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 1989. After Three years of industrial research experience (NEC Corporation, Japan), he spent two years as a research scientist at the CNRS laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Orsay in France and about a year and a half as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung, Stuttgate in Germany. Professor Ajayan’s research interests are mainly focused on the synthesis and characterization of one-dimensional nonostructures with special emphasis on carbon nano-tubes. He is a pioneer in the area of nanotubes and has published some of the key papers in the field with more than 3000 citations for his work in this area.

Linda S. Schadler is Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She graduated from Cornell University in 1985 with a B.S. in materials science and engineering and received a PhD in materials science and engineering in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania. After two years of post-doctoral work at IBM Yorktown Heights, Schadler served as a faculty member at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA before coming to Rensselaer. Professor Schadler is a current member of the National Materials Advisory Board. She serves on numerous professional committees and as education and outreach coordinator for the Center “Directed Assembly of Nanostructures”.
Dr. Schadler received a National Science Foundation National Young Investigator award in 1994 and the ASM International Bradley Staughton Award for Teaching in 1997. She received a Dow Outstanding New Faculty member award from the American Society of Engineering Education in 1998.

Paul V. Braun received his BS degree, with distinction, from Cornell University, and his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998. Following a one year post-doctoral appointment at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at U-C in 1999 as an assistant professor of materials Science and Engineering. He is the recipient of a 2001 Beckman Young Investigator Award, a 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, the 2002 Robert Lansing Hardy Award from TMS, and a Willett Faculty Scholar Award from the University of Illinois at U-C College of Engineering.

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Read an Excerpt

Nanocomposite Science and Technology

By Pulickel M. Ajayan Linda S. Schadler Paul V. Braun

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 3-527-30359-6

Chapter One

Bulk Metal and Ceramics Nanocomposites

Pulickel Ajayan

1.1 Introduction

The field of nanocomposite materials has had the attention, imagination, and close scrutiny of scientists and engineers in recent years. This scrutiny results from the simple premise that using building blocks with dimensions in the nanosize range makes it possible to design and create new materials with unprecedented flexibility and improvements in their physical properties. This ability to tailor composites by using nanosize building blocks of heterogeneous chemical species has been demonstrated in several interdisciplinary fields. The most convincing examples of such designs are naturally occurring structures such as bone, which is a hierarchical nanocomposite built from ceramic tablets and organic binders. Because the constituents of a nanocomposite have different structures and compositions and hence properties, they serve various functions. Thus, the materials built from them can be multifunctional. Taking some clues from nature and based on the demands that emerging technologies put on building new materials that can satisfy several functions at the same time for many applications, scientists have been devising synthetic strategies for producing nanocomposites. These strategies have clear advantages over those used to produce homogeneouslarge-grained materials. Behind the push for nanocomposites is the fact that they offer useful new properties compared to conventional materials.

The concept of enhancing properties and improving characteristics of materials through the creation of multiple-phase nanocomposites is not recent. The idea has been practiced ever since civilization started and humanity began producing more efficient materials for functional purposes. In addition to the large variety of nanocomposites found in nature and in living beings (such as bone), which is the focus of chapter 3 of this book, an excellent example of the use of synthetic nanocomposites in antiquity is the recent discovery of the constitution of Mayan paintings developed in the Mesoamericas. State-of-the-art characterization of these painting samples reveals that the structure of the paints consisted of a matrix of clay mixed with organic colorant (indigo) molecules. They also contained inclusions of metal nanoparticles encapsulated in an amorphous silicate substrate, with oxide nanoparticles on the substrate. The nanoparticles were formed during heat treatment from impurities (Fe, Mn, Cr) present in the raw materials such as clays, but their content and size influenced the optical properties of the final paint. The combination of intercalated clay forming a superlattice in conjunction with metallic and oxide nanoparticles supported on the amorphous substrate made this paint one of the earliest synthetic materials resembling modern functional nanocomposites.

Nanocomposites can be considered solid structures with nanometer-scale dimensional repeat distances between the different phases that constitute the structure. These materials typically consist of an inorganic (host) solid containing an organic component or vice versa. Or they can consist of two or more inorganic/organic phases in some combinatorial form with the constraint that at least one of the phases or features be in the nanosize. Extreme examples of nanocomposites can be porous media, colloids, gels, and copolymers. In this book, however, we focus on the core concept of nanocomposite materials, i.e., a combination of nano-dimensional phases with distinct differences in structure, chemistry, and properties. One could think of the nanostructured phases present in nanocomposites as zero-dimensional (e.g., embedded clusters), 1D (one-dimensional; e.g., nanotubes), 2D (nanoscale coatings), and 3D (embedded networks). In general, nanocomposite materials can demonstrate different mechanical, electrical, optical, electrochemical, catalytic, and structural properties than those of each individual component. The multifunctional behavior for any specific property of the material is often more than the sum of the individual components.

Both simple and complex approaches to creating nanocomposite structures exist. A practical dual-phase nanocomposite system, such as supported catalysts used in heterogeneous catalysis (metal nanoparticles placed on ceramic supports), can be prepared simply by evaporation of metal onto chosen substrates or dispersal through solvent chemistry. On the other hand, material such as bone, which has a complex hierarchical structure with coexisting ceramic and polymeric phases, is difficult to duplicate entirely by existing synthesis techniques. The methods used in the preparation of nanocomposites range from chemical means to vapor phase deposition.

Apart from the properties of individual components in a nanocomposite, interfaces play an important role in enhancing or limiting the overall properties of the system. Due to the high surface area of nanostructures, nanocomposites present many interfaces between the constituent intermixed phases. Special properties of nanocomposite materials often arise from interaction of its phases at the interfaces. An excellent example of this phenomenon is the mechanical behavior of nanotube-filled polymer composites. Although adding nanotubes could conceivably improve the strength of polymers (due to the superior mechanical properties of the nanotubes), a noninteracting interface serves only to create weak regions in the composite, resulting in no enhancement of its mechanical properties (detailed in chapter 2). In contrast to nanocomposite materials, the interfaces in conventional composites constitute a much smaller volume fraction of the bulk material.

In the following sections of this chapter, we describe some examples of metal/ceramic nanocomposite systems that have become subjects of intense study in recent years. The various physical properties that can be tailored in these systems for specific applications is also considered, along with different approaches to synthesizing these nanocomposites.

1.2 Ceramic/Metal Nanocomposites

Many efforts are under way to develop high-performance ceramics that have promise for engineering applications such as highly efficient gas turbines, aerospace materials, automobiles, etc. Even the best processed ceramic materials used in applications pose many unsolved problems; among them, relatively low fracture toughness and strength, degradation of mechanical properties at high temperatures, and poor resistance to creep, fatigue, and thermal shock. Attempts to solve these problems have involved incorporating second phases such as particulates, platelets, whiskers, and fibers in the micron-size range at the matrix grain boundaries. However, results have been generally disappointing when micron-size fillers are used to achieve these goals. Recently the concept of nanocomposites has been considered, which is based on passive control of the microstructures by incorporating nanometer-size second-phase dispersions into ceramic matrices. The dispersions can be characterized as either intragranular or intergranular (Figure 1.1). These materials can be produced by incorporating a very small amount of additive into a ceramic matrix. The additive segregates at the grain boundary with a gradient concentration or precipitates as molecular or cluster sized particles within the grains or at the grain boundaries. Optimized processing can lead to excellent structural control at the molecular level in most nanocomposite materials. Intragranular dispersions aim to generate and fix dislocations during the processing, annealing, cooling, and/or the in-situ control of size and shape of matrix grains. This role of dispersoids, especially on the nano scale, is important in oxide ceramics, some of which become ductile at high temperatures. The intergranular nanodispersoids must play important roles in control of the grain boundary structure of oxide ([Al.sub.2][O.sub.3], MgO) and nonoxide ([Si.sub.3][N.sub.4], SiC) ceramics, which improves their high-temperature mechanical properties. The design concept of nanocomposites can be applied to ceramic/metal, metal/ceramic, and polymer/ceramic composite systems.

Dispersing metallic second-phase particles into ceramics improves their mechanical properties (e.g., fracture toughness). A wide variety of properties, including magnetic, electric, and optical properties, can also be, tailored in the composites due to the size effect of nanosized metal dispersions, as described later in the chapter. Conventional powder metallurgical methods and solution chemical processes like sol-gel and coprecipitation methods have been used to prepare composite powders for ceramic/metal nanocomposites such as [Al.sub.2][O.sub.3]/W, Mo, Ni, Cu, Co, Fe; Zr[O.sub.2]/Ni, Mo; MgO/Fe, Co, Ni; and so on. The powders are sintered in a reductive atmosphere to give homogeneous dispersions of metallic particles within the ceramic matrices. Fracture strength, toughness, and/or hardness are enhanced due to microstructural refinement by the nanodispersions and their plasticity. For transition metal particle dispersed oxide ceramic composites, ferromagnetism is a value-added supplement to the excellent mechanical properties of the composites. In addition, good magnetic response to applied stress was found in these ceramic/ferromagnetic-metal nanocomposites, allowing the possibility of remote sensing of initiation of fractures or deformations in ceramic materials.

Nanocomposite technology is also applicable to functional ceramics such as ferro-electric, piezoelectric, varistor, and ion-conducting materials. Incorporating a small amount of ceramic or metallic nanoparticles into BaTi[O.sub.3], ZnO, or cubic Zr[O.sub.2] can significantly improve their mechanical strength, hardness, and toughness, which are very important in creating highly reliable electric devices operating in severe environmental conditions. In addition, dispersing conducting metallic nanoparticles or nanowires can enhance the electrical properties, as described later. Dispersion of soft materials into a hard ceramic generally decreases its mechanical properties (e.g., hardness). However, in nanocomposites, soft materials added to several kinds of ceramics can improve their mechanical properties. For example, adding hexagonal boron nitride to silicon nitride ceramic can enhance its fracture strength not only at room temperature but also at very high temperatures up to 1500 ºC. In addition, some of these nanocomposite materials exhibit superior thermal shock resistance and machinability because of the characteristic plasticity of one of the phases and the interface regions between that phase and the hard ceramic matrices.

Advanced bulk ceramic materials that can withstand high temperatures (>1500ºC) without degradation or oxidation are needed for applications such as structural parts of motor engines, gas turbines, catalytic heat exchangers, and combustion systems. Such hard, high-temperature stable, oxidation-resistant ceramic composites and coatings are also in demand for aircraft and spacecraft applications. Silicon nitride ([Si.sub.3][N.sub.4]) and silicon carbide/silicon nitride (SiC/[Si.sub.3][N.sub.4]) composites perform best in adverse high-temperature oxidizing conditions. Commercial [Si.sub.3][N.sub.4] can be used up to ~1200ºC, but the composites can withstand much higher temperatures. Such Nanocomposites are optimally produced from amorphous silicon carbonitride (obtained by the pyrolysis of compacted polyhydridomethylsilazane [[C[H.sub.3]SiH-NH].sub.m] [[[(C[H.sub.3]).sub.2]Si-NH].sub.n] at about 1000ºC), which produces crystallites of microcrystals of [Si.sub.3][N.sub.4] and nanocrystals of SiC (Figure 1.2). The oxidation resistance, determined by TGA analysis, arises from the formation of a thin (few microns) silicon oxide layer.

Processing is key to the fabrication of nanocomposites with optimized properties. Some examples of commonly used processes for creating nanocomposites are discussed below.

1.2.1 Nanocomposites by Mechanical Alloying

Mechanical alloying was originally invented to form small-particle (oxide, carbide, etc.) dispersion-strengthened metallic alloys (Figure 1.3). In this high-energy ball milling process, alloying occurs as a result of repeated breaking up and joining (welding) of the component particles. The process can prepare highly metastable structures such as amorphous alloys and nanocomposite structures with high flexibility. Scaling up of synthesized materials to industrial quantities is easily achieved in this process, but purity and homogeneity of the structures produced remains a challenge. In addition to erosion and agglomeration, high-energy milling can provoke chemical reactions that are induced by the transfer of mechanical energy, which can influence the milling process and the properties of the product. This idea is used to prepare magnetic oxide-metal nanocomposites via mechanically induced displacement reactions between a metal oxide and a more reactive metal. High-energy ball milling can also induce chemical changes in nonmetallurgical systems, including silicates, minerals, ferrites, ceramics, and organic compounds. The interest in mechanical alloying as a method to produce nanocrystalline materials is due to the simplicity of the method and the possibility for scaled-up manufacturing.

Displacement reactions between a metal oxide and a more reactive metal can be induced by ball milling. The reaction may progress gradually, producing a nanocomposite powder. In some cases, the reaction progresses gradually, and a metal/metal-oxide nanocomposite is formed. Milling may also initiate a self-propagating combustive reaction. The nature of such reactions depends on thermodynamic parameters, the microstructure of the reaction mixture, and the way the microstructure develops during the milling process. The mechanical stresses developed during high impact hits can also initiate combustion in highly exothermic systems, melting the reaction mixture and destroying the ultrafine (nanocrystalline) microstructure. Milling mixtures of ceramic and metal powders can induce mechanochemical reactions, and this process is an efficient way of producing nanocermets. Depending on the thermodynamics of the metal/metal-oxide systems and the kinetics of the exchange (displacement) reactions during processing, various nanocomposite systems could evolve. As an example, the reduction of metal oxides with aluminum during reactive ball milling can result in nanocomposites of [Al.sub.2][O.sub.3] and metallic alloys (Fe, Ni, Cr; particularly binary alloy systems), and such ceramics with ductile metal inclusions produce toughened materials with superior mechanical properties. These nanocomposite materials also have better thermomechanical properties, such as higher thermal shock resistance, due to better metal-ceramic interfacial strength.



Excerpted from Nanocomposite Science and Technology by Pulickel M. Ajayan Linda S. Schadler Paul V. Braun Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chemically Active Structures
Biologically Active Structures
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