Polymer, Vol.47, No.22, 7740-7746, 2006
Conductivity and mechanical properties of well-dispersed single-wall carbon nanotube/polystyrene composite
The morphologies, electrical and mechanical properties and structure of polystyrene (PS) composites with varying concentrations of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) are analyzed. Using Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy, we demonstrate that initial thermal annealing of SWNT significantly improves their dispersion in PS. In dielectric measurements, the annealed SWNT/PS composites show higher electrical conductivity and a lower percolation threshold (less than 0.3 wt%) than the raw SWNT/PS composites, which provides further evidence of good dispersion of the annealed SWNT in PS. Raman spectra of composites under tension show good transfer of an applied stress from the polymer matrix to SWNT. However, mechanical moduli of the annealed SWNT/PS composites are only increased slightly. The reason for this discrepancy remains unclear. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.