Lowering the percolation threshold of single-walled carbon nanotubes using polystyrene/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrene sulfonate) blends

M.C. Hermant, B. Klumperman, A.V Kyrylyuk, P.P.A.M. Schoot, van der, C.E. Koning

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Abstract

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are introduced into a polymer matrix via a latex-based route resulting in a conductive composite. The percolation threshold for a polystyrene (PS)-based composite prepared with SWCNTs dispersed in water using a conventional surfactant like sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is approximately 0.4 wt%. In this study, SDS is substituted by a conductive polymer latex, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) also known as PEDOT:PSS. This latex can effectively stabilize individual SWCNTs in water and composites prepared with these dispersions show a lower percolation threshold value of 0.2 wt%. The percolation of PEDOT:PSS in PS in a binary polymer blend without SWCNTs is also investigated, and found to occur at a remarkably low loading of 2.2 wt% of the conductive latex. The morphology of the final polymer-filled blend is further investigated and the findings provide an explanation as to why PEDOT:PSS lowers the percolation threshold of the SWCNTs, and in fact has such a low threshold itself without the presence of the nanotubes. © 2009 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-885
JournalSoft Matter
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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