Poly(phenylene sulfide) (PPS)/multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) conductive composites were prepared through the simple mixing of PPS granules with MWNT powder and subsequent compression. The electrical properties as a function of MWNT loading clearly showed a low percolation threshold of about 0.22 vol % and a high critical exponent value of 3.55 for composites prepared by this method. A comparison study with composites prepared via melt mixing was also carried out, where a random dispersion of MWNTs was achieved. There existed a striplike morphology of MWNTs in the PPS matrix and MWNTs were selectively located in strips caused by compression. The effects of temperature and pressure on the conductivity of the PPS/MWNT composites as prepared via simple mixing and compression are discussed. In addition, the conductivity also showed a dependence on the flow direction of the compression, with higher conductivity in the direction parallel to the flow direction than in the direction perpendicular to the flow direction. So the relationship of the processing and morphological properties was investigated in detail. The possible conductive mechanisms of conventional melt blending and preparation via sample mixing and compression are also discussed. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2008
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