Microwave absorbers designed from PVDF/SAN blends containing multiwall carbon nanotubes anchored cobalt ferrite via a pyrene derivative
Lightweight and flexible electromagnetic shielding materials were designed by selectively localizing multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) anchored magnetic nanoparticles in melt mixed co-continuous blends of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) (SAN). In order to facilitate better dispersion, the MWNTs were modified using pyrenebutyric acid (PBA) via π–π stacking. While one of the two-targeted properties, i.e., high electrical conductivity, was achieved by PBA modified MWNTs, high magnetic loss was accomplished by introducing nickel (NF) or cobalt ferrites (CF). Moreover, the attenuation by absorption can be tuned either by using NF (58% absorption) or CF (64% absorption) in combination with PBA-MWNTs. More interestingly, when CF was anchored on to MWNTs via the pyrene derivative, the minimum reflection loss attained was −55 dB in the Ku band (12–18 GHz) frequency and with a large bandwidth. In addition, the EM waves were blocked mostly by absorption (70%). This study opens new avenues in designing flexible and lightweight microwave absorbers.