Ethylene gas was used to modify the surface of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) by plasma polymerization. The modified CNFs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, dispersion test in chloroform and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM).
The results of dispersion test in chloroform showed that the plasma treatment promoted a stable dispersion of the treated nanofibers in the solvent. The FTIR results indicated that an organic polymer was deposited on the surface of the CNFs, and the Raman spectra showed evidence of the chemical interaction between the nanofibers and the polyethylene (PE) deposited by plasma. The presence of the thin polymer coating on the surface of CNFs was confirmed by HRTEM.