Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol.98, No.3, 1344-1350, 2005
Impedance spectra of carbon black filled high-density polyethylene composites
Carbon black (CB) filled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composites are prepared by ordinary blending for use as an electrical conductive polymer composite. The composite changes from an electrical insulator to a conductor as the CB content is increased from 10 to 20 wt %, which is called the percolation region. For explanatory purposes, three models, namely, "conduction via nonohmic contacting chain," "conduction via ohmic contacting chain," and a mixture of them corresponding to the conductions in the percolation region, high CB loading region, and limiting high CB loading are proposed by the reasonable configurations of aggregate resistance, contact resistance, gap capacitance, and joining aggregates induction. The characters of the impedance spectra based on the three models are theoretically analyzed. In order to find some link between the electrical conductivity and the CB dispersion manner in the composites, the impedance spectra of three samples, HDPE/15 wt % CB (the center of the percolation region), HDPE/25 wt % CB (a typical point in the high CB loading region), and HDPE/19 wt % CB (the limiting high CB loading region), are measured by plotting the impedance modulus and phase angle against the frequency and by drawing the Cole-Cole circle of the imaginary part and real part of the impedance modulus of each sample. The modeled approached spectra and the spectra measured on the three samples are compared and the following results are found: the measured impedance spectrum of HDPE/15 wt % CB (percolation region) is quite close to the model of conduction via nonohmic contacting chain. The character of the measured spectrum of HDPE/25 wt % CB consists of the form of the model of conduction via ohmic contacting chain. The impedance behavior of HDPE/19 wt % CB exhibits a mixture of the two models. From the comparisons, it is concluded that the electrical conducting network in the percolation region of the CB filled HDPE composite is composed of aggregate resistance, nonohmic contact resistance, and gap capacitance, and that of the high CB loading region consists of continuously joined CB aggregate chains, which are possibly wound and assume helix-like (not straight lines) conductive chains, acting as electrical inductions as the current passes through. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.