Effect of electron beam radiation on the surface and bulk morphology of carbon nanofibers

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Materials Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Donald Klosterman


This study explored the use of a high energy electron beam as the only available technique for selective area surface modification of carbon nanofibers through controlled parameters such as radiation dose, sample temperature, and environment. The application of this variable space led to the production of unique morphological features on the nanofiber surfaces. Several analytical techniques were used to establish the mechanism for these surface modifications, including microscopy, spectroscopy, thermal analysis, and gas adsorption. Depending on the exposure parameters, a nanofiber surface rich with some or all of the following was created: i) free radicals, ii) chemisorbed or physisorbed functional groups, iii) surface roughness from peeling and recombination of graphene layers, and iv) activated carbon surface with nano to meso porosity. The demonstrated consequences of these selective modifications were improved dispersion of the nanofibers in liquid and good bonding with epoxy. Ultimately this process will give the user custom control over the surface interaction of carbon nanofibers with other media such as liquids, polymer resins, gas probes, etc.


Nanofibers Design and construction, Surfaces Effect of radiation on, Electron beams, Electronic excitation

Rights Statement

Copyright 2010, author