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Improving the electrical conductivity of multi-phase polymer composites via plasticizer assisted nanoparticle dispersion
Author(s): Yu-Chen Sun; Morris Huang; Hani E. Naguib
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Paper Abstract

It is well-known that electrically conductive polymer composites can be fabricated via incorporating highly conductive fillers such as carbon fibres (CFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into a polymer system through either melt blending or solvent casting method. Nevertheless, one of the greatest challenges lies in the proper particle dispersion to achieve a low percolation threshold and high conductivity performance. Recently, it was found that CNTs have phasesensitive localization property when incorporated in a composite system formed by two immersible phases, such as polylactic acid (PLA) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). As a result, composites with ultra-low percolation threshold can be formed by tuning the ratio of the two polymer phases. In this study, we reported that such property can be further enhanced via the introduction of a small amount of plasticizer into the polymer system. It was observed that the incorporation of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) affected the immiscibility of the two polymer matrix as significant changes in morphologies and thermal behaviours were also detected. Finally, by adding 5 wt% PEG, the electrical conductivity for sample contacting 2.5 wt% CNT increased from to 6.8x10-6 to 3.6x10-4 S/cm. Such results suggest that plasticizer is an effective agent for improving particle distribution and conductivity enhancement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10968, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials XIII, 1096812 (29 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2514037
Show Author Affiliations
Yu-Chen Sun, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Morris Huang, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Hani E. Naguib, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10968:
Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials XIII
Hani E. Naguib, Editor(s)

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