Preparation of Homogeneously Dispersed Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube/Polystyrene Nanocomposites via Melt Extrusion Using Trialkyl Imidazolium Compatibilizer


  • The authors thank the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR-ISSA-01-0001) and the Federal Aviation Administration (DTFA 03-99-X-9009) for funding, and thank Dr. Kalman Migler for use of the mini-extruder and Dr. Li Piin Sung for use of the LSCM facilities.


Well-dispersed multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT)/polystyrene nanocomposites have been prepared via melt extrusion, using trialkylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate-compatibilized MWNTs. Quantification of the improvement is realized via transmission electron microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy image analysis. Differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier-transform infrared and X-ray diffraction analysis show evidence for a π-cation, nanotube–imidazolium interaction and the conversion from an interdigitated bilayer, for the imidazolium salt, to an ordered lamellar structure, for the imidazolium on the surface of the MWNTs.