Excellent dispersion of MWCNTs in PEO polymer achieved through a simple and potentially cost-effective evaporation casting
Date of this Version10-14-2011
A simple, reliable and potentially cost-effective composite film casting procedure is presented using the evaporation of solvent (water) from a dilute mixture of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) polymer. It is found that the fabrication method develops excellent dispersion of MWCNTs in PEO confirmed by morphology observations, final crystallinity of polymer (amorphous) and a lower percolation threshold (closer to theoretical value) as well as higher electrical conductivity. A film thickness prediction model is derived based upon the fact that final film thickness is mainly dependent upon the dimensions of the casting mold and the loading of the MWCNTs and polymer. This simple model provides important insight that the material loss and the actual density of the base polymer are critical factors making the current casting method truly cost effective and controlling final thickness.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology