Page 01/18/2015 10:15:00

Congratulation: New Paper has been accepted for publication in Carbon. Article in Press.

1/18/2015
Carbon nanotubes with silver nanoparticle decoration and conductive polymer coating for improving the electrical conductivity of polycarbonate composites
 
Archana Patole, Gilles Lubineau
 
Abstract
We proposed a strategy to enhance the conductivity of polycarbonate by using three-phase hybrid metallic/non-metallic fillers. Ethylene diamine (EDA) functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-EDA) are first decorated with silver nanoparticles. These Ag/MWCNT-EDA fillers are then coated with a conductive layer of ethylene glycol treated PEDOT: PSS (poly [3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene]: poly [styrenesulfonate]) (EP). In such an approach, the MWCNT backbone is covered by a highly conductive coating made of Ag nanoparticles surrounded by EP. To understand how Ag and EP form a highly conductive coating, the effect of different wt% of Ag nanoparticles on EP was studied. Ag nanoparticles around the size of ~128±28 nm effectively lowered the volume resistivity of bulk EP, resulting in a highly conducting Ag/EP blend. We found that in the final Ag/MWCNT-EDA/EP assembly, the EP coating enhances the electrical conductivity in two ways: (1) it is an efficient dispersing agent that helps in achieving a uniform dispersion of the Ag/MWCNT-EDA and (2) it acts as a conductive bridge between particles (Ag and MWCNT-EDA), reducing the particle to particle resistivity. When inserted into polycarbonate, this three-phase blend successfully reduced the volume resistivity of the polymer by two orders of magnitude compared with previous approaches.