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Morphology and electrical properties of polymethylmethacrylate/poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile)/multi-walled carbon nanotube nanocomposites

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Abstract

Nanocomposites of blends of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) (SAN) with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were prepared by melt mixing in a twin-screw extruder. The dispersion state of MWCNTs in the matrix polymers was investigated using transmission electron microscopy. Interestingly enough, in most of the nanocomposites, the MWCNTs were observed to be mainly located at SAN domains, regardless of the SAN compositions in the PMMA/SAN blend and of the processing method. One possible reason for this morphology may be the π–π interactions between MWCNTs and the phenyl ring of SAN. The shift in G-band peak observed in the Raman spectroscopy may be the indirect evidence proving these interactions. The percolation threshold for electrical conductivity of PMMA/SAN/MWCNT nanocomposites was observed to be around 1.5 wt %. Nanocomposites with PMMA-rich composition showed higher electrical conductivity than SAN-rich nanocomposites at a fixed MWCNT loading. The dielectric constant measurement also showed composition-dependent behavior. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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