X-ray diffraction, infrared (IR), and electrical properties for pure and Er (NO3)3-doped methyl-2-hydroxyethyl cellulose (MHEC) with concentrations of 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 7, and 10 wt % were studied. X-ray analysis indicates that the addition of Er (NO3)3, which is a crystalline material, to MHEC at concentrations 10 and 13 wt % leads to the formation of crystalline phases in the amorphous polymeric matrix. The appearance of the bending mode ν2 and the combination mode (ν1 + ν4) of Er (NO3)3 in the IR spectra of composite samples indicates the coordination of nitro group in the chains of MHEC. From the I–V characteristics, it was found that the charge transport mechanism in MHEC appears to be essentially space charge limited conduction, while the predominant mechanism in the composite samples is Poole–Frenkel. Values of both drift mobility (μ) and the charge carrier density (n) has been reported. The temperature dependence conductivity data has been analyzed in terms of the Arrhenius and Mott's variable range hopping models. Different Mott's parameters such as the density of states, N(EF), hopping distance (R), and average hopping energy (W) have been evaluated. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 102:2352–2361, 2006
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