Polymer, Vol.56, 498-506, 2015
Anisotropic electrical conductivity of polymer composites with aligned carbon nanotubes
This paper studies the effect of carbon nanotube (CNT) alignment on anisotropy of electrical conductivity of CNT enhanced polymer composites. A new CNT percolation network model is developed by considering structural distortion of CNT walls at crossed junctions. The structural distortion is modeled by a pseudo-potential energy that consists of the Lennard-Jones potential of Van der Waals interaction between CNTs and the bending energy of CNT walls. Simulation results show better agreement with experimental data by the newly development. The current study reveals the anisotropy of electrical property of aligned CNT/polymer composites is mainly affected by the average conductive pathway density of CNTs, which depends heavily on CNT alignment structure. The study further identifies that the aligned CNT structure in polymer matrix effectively affects the contributions of each resistance components in the CNT networks to the total resistance. Finally, parametric studies are conducted to enable systematic exploration of designing multifunctional nanocomposites. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.