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Tailoring the Electrical Properties of Carbon Nanotube–Polymer Composites

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Abstract

Advances in functionality and reliability of nanocomposite materials require careful formulation of processing methods to ultimately realize the desired properties. An extensive study of how the variation in fabrication process would affect the mechanism of conductivity and thus the final electrical properties of the carbon nanotube–polymer composite is presented. Some of the most widely implemented procedures are addressed, such as ultrasonication, melt shear mixing, and addition of surfactants. It is hoped that this study could provide a systematic guide to selecting and designing the downstream processing of carbon nanocomposites. Finally, this guide is used to demonstrate the fabrication and performance of a stretchable (pliable) conductor that can reversibly undergo uniaxial strain of over 100%, and other key applications are discussed.

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