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Polyaniline–silver composites prepared by the oxidation of aniline with silver nitrate in acetic acid solutions



The reaction between two non-conducting chemicals, aniline and silver nitrate, yields a composite of two conducting components, polyaniline and metallic silver. Such conducting polymer composites combine the electrical properties of metals and the materials properties of polymers. In the present study, aniline was oxidized with silver nitrate in solutions of acetic acid; in this context, aniline oligomers are often a major component of the oxidation products. An insoluble precipitate of silver acetate is also present in the samples. The optimization of reaction conditions with respect to aniline and acetic acid concentrations leads to a conductivity of the composite as high as 8000 S cm−1 at ca 70 wt% (ca 21 vol%) of silver. A sufficient concentration of acetic acid, as well as a time extending to several weeks, has to be provided for the successful polymerization of aniline. Polyaniline is present as nanotubes or nanobrushes composed of thin nanowires. The average size of the silver nanoparticles is 30–50 nm; silver nanowires are also observed. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry