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Effect of noncovalent chemical modification on the electrical conductivity and tensile properties of poly(methyl methacrylate)/carbon nanotube composites



Noncovalent chemical modification by initiated chemical vapor deposition technique is applied to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to reduce average agglomerate size of the nanoparticles in the polymer matrix and to improve surface interaction between the composite constituents. CNT surfaces are coated conformally with thin poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) polymer film and coated nanoparticles are incorporated in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) polymer matrix using solvent casting technique. Conformal PGMA coatings around individual nanotubes were identified by scanning electron microscopy analysis. Transmission electron microscopy and optical microscopy analyses show homogeneous composite morphology for composites prepared by using PGMA coated nanotubes. Fourier Transform Infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses show the successful deposition of polymer with high retention of epoxide functionality. PGMA coating of CNTs exhibits improvement in electrical conductivity and tensile properties of PGMA-CNT/PMMA systems when compared with uncoated nanoparticles. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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