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Effect of diblock copolymer surfactant on the microstructure and EM properties of CNT nanocomposites



Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were chosen due to their excellent electrical properties. As delivered, CNTs are highly agglomerated, and to exploit their high aspect ratio is then necessary to disagglomerate them as much as possible. A diblock copolymer surfactant was used to aid CNT disagglomeration. Disagglomeration in solvent was assessed by TEM, whereas composite microstructure was observed by scanning electron microscopy. X-band waveguide measurements were carried out to assess complex permittivity and absorbing performance. On a same weight percent of filler basis, samples produced with the aid of surfactant show higher real permittivity than samples produced without. An equivalent circuit analogy is suggested to explain the results and relates composite microstructure with macroscopic permittivity. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011