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Improved Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes in Polymers at High Concentrations

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ABSTRACT

The polymer nanocomposite used in this work comprises elastomer poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) as a polymer matrix and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as a conductive nanofiller. To achieve uniform distribution of carbon nanotubes within the polymer, an optimized dispersion process was developed, featuring a strong organic solvent—chloroform, which dissolved PDMS base polymer easily and allowed high quality dispersion of MWCNTs. At concentrations as high as 9 wt.%, MWCNTs were dispersed uniformly through the polymer matrix, which presented a major improvement over prior techniques. The dispersion procedure was optimized via extended experimentation, which is discussed in detail.

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Vial images showing effect of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) on dispersion state of MWCNTs in THF solution: (a) PDMS added into dispersed MWCNTs-THF solution; (b) THF solution containing PDMS and MWCNTs directly after 30 min of sonication; (c) solution at 30 min after completion of sonication, showing visible CNTs bundles, and (d) solution at 21 h after sonication, showing complete phase separation which indicated the instability of dispersion.
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nanomaterials-02-00329-f003: Vial images showing effect of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) on dispersion state of MWCNTs in THF solution: (a) PDMS added into dispersed MWCNTs-THF solution; (b) THF solution containing PDMS and MWCNTs directly after 30 min of sonication; (c) solution at 30 min after completion of sonication, showing visible CNTs bundles, and (d) solution at 21 h after sonication, showing complete phase separation which indicated the instability of dispersion.

Mentions: In the case of THF, firstly MWCNTs were dispersed at 0.4 mg/mL (±0.2 mg/mL) via sonication for 10 min. Then, PDMS base resin at 0.15 g/mL concentration was added into the already-dispersed CNTs, as shown in Figure 3a. From Table 1, as the density of PDMS base resin (1.1 g/mL) was higher than THF (0.89 g/mL), PDMS settled at the vial bottom and could be clearly told from the dispersed CNTs. Afterwards, the mixture was sonicated for an additional 30 min, resulting in a fully dispensed solution, as in Figure 3b. However, this dispersion state was not stable with time. MWCNTs almost started reaggregating immediately, forming visible bundles just 30 min after sonication was finished, as seen in Figure 3c. Moreover, after a period of 21 h, originally dispersed MWCNTs had now completely settled at the vial bottom, as shown in Figure 3d, leaving the upper portion of solution fully transparent.


Improved Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes in Polymers at High Concentrations
Vial images showing effect of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) on dispersion state of MWCNTs in THF solution: (a) PDMS added into dispersed MWCNTs-THF solution; (b) THF solution containing PDMS and MWCNTs directly after 30 min of sonication; (c) solution at 30 min after completion of sonication, showing visible CNTs bundles, and (d) solution at 21 h after sonication, showing complete phase separation which indicated the instability of dispersion.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5304599&req=5

nanomaterials-02-00329-f003: Vial images showing effect of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) on dispersion state of MWCNTs in THF solution: (a) PDMS added into dispersed MWCNTs-THF solution; (b) THF solution containing PDMS and MWCNTs directly after 30 min of sonication; (c) solution at 30 min after completion of sonication, showing visible CNTs bundles, and (d) solution at 21 h after sonication, showing complete phase separation which indicated the instability of dispersion.
Mentions: In the case of THF, firstly MWCNTs were dispersed at 0.4 mg/mL (±0.2 mg/mL) via sonication for 10 min. Then, PDMS base resin at 0.15 g/mL concentration was added into the already-dispersed CNTs, as shown in Figure 3a. From Table 1, as the density of PDMS base resin (1.1 g/mL) was higher than THF (0.89 g/mL), PDMS settled at the vial bottom and could be clearly told from the dispersed CNTs. Afterwards, the mixture was sonicated for an additional 30 min, resulting in a fully dispensed solution, as in Figure 3b. However, this dispersion state was not stable with time. MWCNTs almost started reaggregating immediately, forming visible bundles just 30 min after sonication was finished, as seen in Figure 3c. Moreover, after a period of 21 h, originally dispersed MWCNTs had now completely settled at the vial bottom, as shown in Figure 3d, leaving the upper portion of solution fully transparent.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The polymer nanocomposite used in this work comprises elastomer poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) as a polymer matrix and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as a conductive nanofiller. To achieve uniform distribution of carbon nanotubes within the polymer, an optimized dispersion process was developed, featuring a strong organic solvent—chloroform, which dissolved PDMS base polymer easily and allowed high quality dispersion of MWCNTs. At concentrations as high as 9 wt.%, MWCNTs were dispersed uniformly through the polymer matrix, which presented a major improvement over prior techniques. The dispersion procedure was optimized via extended experimentation, which is discussed in detail.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus