New method for the preparation of thick conducting polymer composites

Authors

  • Eli Ruckenstein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, New York, 14260
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, New York, 14260
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  • Jun Seo Park

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, New York, 14260
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Abstract

A highly porous and absorbable crosslinked polystyrene, prepared by the concentrated emulsion polymerization method, was used as host polymer for the preparation of conducting, large objects, polymer composites. The composites, whose conductivity can be as high as 0.80 S/cm, were prepared by (i) imbibing the host polymer with a pyrrole (or oxidant) solution, (ii) partially drying the imbibed host polymer, and (iii) imbibing again with an oxidant (or pyrrole) solution for polymerization to take place. The electrical conductivity of the composite and the penetration of polypyrrole in the host polymer are influenced by the polymerization conditions (i.e., the concentrations of oxidant and pyrrole and the nature of the solvents used for the oxidant and pyrrole), the order in which the two imbibing solutions are introduced, and the drying time used after the first imbibation. The mechanical properties of the host polymer are improved with the incorporation of polypyrrole. Scanning electron micrographs of the composites indicate that the polypyrrole coats uniformly as a film the inside of the porous host polymer.

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