Effect of carbon nanotube dispersion on the complex permittivity and absorption of nanocomposites in 2–18 GHz ranges



The effect of dispersion processes on complex permittivity math formula and microwave absorption in 2−18 GHz ranges is presented for nanocomposites loaded with different amounts of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) ranging from 1 to 5 wt %. The ultrasonic sonication (US) method and the three-roll mill (TRM) method were performed for the manufacturing of the CNT/epoxy absorbers with different dispersing levels. Microscopic observations revealed that the CNT agglomerates were reduced after the TRM process, and individual CNTs were uniformly dispersed in the epoxy resin. For the same weight content of CNT fillers, the percentage increase of math formula between US and TRM samples varies from 35.5% to 101.7% while the corresponding increment of math formula (dielectric loss) varies from 79.6% to 248.8%. A minimum reflection loss for the US sample with 2 wt % CNTs is only −7.8 dB at 11.3 GHz while the corresponding TRM sample is greatly improved to reach −37.4 dB at 7.76 GHz for the same matching thickness of 3 mm. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40963.