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Volume 173, 2014
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Single-walled carbon nanotube networks in conductive composite materials

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Electrically conductive composite materials can be used for a wide range of applications because they combine the advantages of a specific polymeric material (e.g., thermal and mechanical properties) with the electrical properties of conductive filler particles. However, the overall electrical behaviour of these composite materials is usually much below the potential of the conductive fillers, mainly because by mixing two different components, new interfaces and interphases are created, changing the properties and behaviours of both. Our goal is to characterize and understand the nature and influence of these interfaces on the electrical properties of composite materials. We have improved a technique based on the use of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) to disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in water, followed by coating glass substrates, and drying and removing the CMC with a nitric acid treatment. We used electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy techniques to characterize the SWCNT films, and developed an in situ resistance measurement technique to analyse the influence of both the individual components and the mixture of an epoxy/amine system on the electrical behaviour of the SWCNTs. The results showed that impregnating a SWCNT network with a polymer is not the only factor that affects the film resistance; air exposure, temperature, physical and chemical properties of the individual polymer components, and also the formation of a polymeric network, can all have an influence on the macroscopic electrical properties of the initial SWCNT network. These results emphasize the importance of understanding the effects that each of the components can have on each other before trying to prepare an efficient polymer composite material.

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 May 2014, accepted on 28 May 2014 and first published on 29 May 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4FD00087K
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2014,173, 365-377
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    Single-walled carbon nanotube networks in conductive composite materials

    O. A. Bârsan, G. G. Hoffmann, L. G. J. van der Ven and G. (. de With, Faraday Discuss., 2014, 173, 365
    DOI: 10.1039/C4FD00087K

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