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Synthesis of hybrid polyaniline/carbon nanotube nanocomposites by dynamic interfacial inverse emulsion polymerization under sonication



This article describes an ultrasonically assisted in situ interfacial dynamic inverse emulsion polymerization process of aniline in the presence of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) in chloroform. During polymerization, MWNT are coated with polyaniline (PANI) forming a core-shell structure of nanowires, as evidenced by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis curves and conversion measurements provided important knowledge regarding the unique polymerization method. Scanning electron microscopy images and surface resistivity imply that PANI/MWNTs are characterized by a structural synergistic effect. The PANI coating of MWNT leads to a remarkable improvement in separation and dispersion of MWNT in chloroform, which otherwise would rapidly coagulate and settle. The presented interfacial dynamic polymerization process is very fast, reaching 82% conversion within 5 min of sonication and produces stable clear dispersions of doped PANI in chloroform. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011