Nanostructural characterization of carbon nanotubes in laser-sintered polyamide 12 by 3D-TEM

Jiaming Bai, Ruth D. Goodridge*, Richard J.M. Hague, Mo Song, Hideyuki Murakami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional transmission electron microscopy (3D-TEM) is a powerful technology that provides 3D characterization of the internal details of a material. In this work, for the first time, 3D-TEM was used to characterize a laser-sintered polymer nanocomposite. The dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the laser-sintered polyamide 12 (PA12)-CNT nanocomposite parts was evaluated. At first, to prepare 3D-TEM samples at specific locations, a focused ion beam technique was used. Then, high quality two-dimensional (2D)-TEM images were achieved at various scanning angles for the PA12-CNT laser-sintered sample. After that, 3D-TEM images were reconstructed by combining all the 2D-TEM images. Results revealed that the CNTs were agglomerate-free in the PA12-CNT parts after laser sintering, which helps to explain previously reported improvement in mechanical properties of laser-sintered PA12-CNT parts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1817-1823
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 17
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-TEM
  • carbon nanotubes
  • laser sintering
  • nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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