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Effects of the size and filler loading on the properties of copper- and silver-nanoparticle-filled epoxy composites



Copper-nanoparticle (CuNP)-filled nanocomposites were prepared with various particle sizes and loadings. The nanocomposites incorporating 20-nm CuNPs with 5 vol % loading displayed optimum properties as determined by electrical, mechanical, and thermal characterization. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with a size of 20 nm were loaded into the epoxy resin to allow a comparison of the properties. Interestingly, at the percolation threshold, a 5 vol % loading of CuNP and AgNP nanocomposites resulted in slightly similar electrical conductivities of 0.01 and 0.02 S/cm, respectively. The CuNP and AgNP nanocomposites were also subjected to thermal aging at 150°C, and we observed that the electrical conductivity of both nanocomposites dropped only by about one order of magnitude after 8 weeks of exposure. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011