Improving The Dispersion Of Carbon Nanotubes In Polystyrene By Blending With Siloxane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract

Carbon nanotube (CNT) based nanocomposites have attracted much interest, owing to the conductive properties and mechanical reinforcement CNTs may transfer to the complete material. When using CNTs as a filler material for the development of (polymer) nanocomposites, a key element is the dispersion of the CNTs. This will strongly influence at what point a 3D percolating CNT network is formed, also know as the percolation threshold. For various reasons, the percolation threshold should be as low as possible. However, due to the strong interactions between CNTs, achieving good dispersion in the matrix can be problematic. For this purpose, specialized dispersion techniques are used in the preparation of CNT nanocomposites, such as latex technology, where surfactants are used to form aqueous polymer and nanotube emulsions, which are subsequently mixed, freeze-dried and compression-moulded. A complementary approach for lowering the percolation threshold is limiting the volume of the material that is accessible to CNTs. Here a phase separated morphology is desired, with CNTs ideally only found in one of the phases, leading to volume exclusion or double percolation.
In this work a polystyrene (PS) / polymethylphenylsiloxane (PMPS) blend system was studied as a matrix for CNT nanocomposites. The study of these polymer blend nanocomposites was performed using thermal analysis techniques, such as DSC, as well as surface characterization and rheology. While an excellent dispersion of CNTs by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was reported before, this is to our knowledge the first study on the related PMPS, which seems to show similar CNT-dispersing properties Unlike the strongly immiscible behaviour known for PS/PDMS blends however, the PS/PMPS system showed partial miscibility. While this means that phase separated morphologies can still be attained, which can be used for volume exclusion, this also makes it possible to develop homogeneous blends where PMPS seems to act more as a CNT compatibiliser. Clear proof of mechanical percolation was found for such systems, and conductivity studies are underway.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNT11 International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 14 Jul 2011 → …

Conference

ConferenceUnknown
Period14/07/11 → …

Keywords

  • Nanocomposites
  • Carbon Nanotubes
  • Siloxanes
  • Polymer Blends

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Improving The Dispersion Of Carbon Nanotubes In Polystyrene By Blending With Siloxane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this