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Quantitative characterization of the formation of an interpenetrating phase composite in polystyrene from the percolation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes

Kota, Arun K. and Cipriano, Bani H. and Powell, Dan and Raghavan, Srinivasa R. and Bruck, Hugh A. (2007) Quantitative characterization of the formation of an interpenetrating phase composite in polystyrene from the percolation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes. NANOTECHNOLOGY, 18 (50). p. 505705.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/18/50/505705

Abstract

For the first time, an interpenetrating phase polymer nanocomposite formed by the percolation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in polystyrene (PS) has been quantitatively characterized through electrical conductivity measurements and melt rheology. Both sets of measurements, in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, indicate the presence of a continuous phase of percolated MWCNTs appearing at particle concentrations exceeding 2 vol% MWCNTs in PS. To quantify the amount of this continuous phase present in the PS/MWCNT composite, electrical conductivity data at various MWCNT concentrations, β, are correlated with a proposed degree of percolation, \bar {C}(\beta) , developed using a conventional power-law formula with and without a percolation threshold. To quantify the properties of the interpenetrating phase polymer nanocomposite, the PS/MWCNT composite is treated as a combination of two phases: a continuous phase consisting of a pseudo-solid-like network of percolated MWCNTs, and a continuous PS phase reinforced by non-interacting MWCNTs. The proposed degree of percolation is used to quantify the distribution of MWCNTs among the phases, and is then used in a rule-of-mixtures formulation for the storage modulus, G'(\beta,\bar {C}(\beta), \omega) , and the loss modulus, G''(\beta,\bar {C}(\beta),\omega) , to quantify the properties of the continuous phase consisting of percolated MWCNTs and the continuous PS phase reinforced by non-interacting MWCNTs from the experimental melt rheology data. The properties of the continuous phase of percolated MWCNTs are indicative of a scaffold-like microstructure exhibiting an elastic behavior with a complex modulus of 360 kPa at lower frequencies and viscoplastic behavior with a complex viscosity of 6 kPa s rad−1 at higher frequencies, most likely due to a stick–slip friction mechanism at the interface of the percolated MWCNTs. Additional evidence of this microstructure was obtained via scanning electron microscopy. This research has important implications in providing a new methodology based on the electrical and rheological properties of the polymer nanocomposite for quantifying the continuous phase formed by the percolation of new functionalized nanostructures being developed for: (a) controlling the percolation of the nanostructures through self-assembly, (b) enhancing their interaction with the continuous reinforced polymer phase, (c) enhancing the cohesion between nanostructures.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Physical Science > Nanophysics
Material Science > Functional and hybrid materials
Material Science > Nanochemistry
ID Code:2934
Deposited By:Anuj Seth
Deposited On:27 May 2009 11:48
Last Modified:27 May 2009 11:48

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