275126 Mechanical and Electrical Properties of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes / Syndiotactic Polystyrene Composite Aerogels

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Xiao Wang, Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH and Sadhan C. Jana, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were incorporated into syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) aerogels to improve electrical conductivity and mechanical properties. The connectivity of MWCNTs was achieved by dispersing surfactant-treated MWCNTs (K-MWCNTs) in sPS solution and obtaining gel networks by thermo-reversible gelation of sPS. Subsequently, K-MWCNTs/sPS aerogels were obtained by drying the gels under supercritical condition. The network morphology of formed by MWCNTs and sPS was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The effect of K-MWCNTs on electrical and mechanical properties of the aerogels was studied. It was found that K-MWCNTs formed an independent electrically conductive network within sPS aerogel template.  The presence of MWCNTs exerted little influence on morphology, high surface area of the aerogel, and the crystalline structure of sPS. The electrical conductivity increased significantly in the presence of a low volume percentage (0.18 wt %) of K-MWCNTs.  The aerogel composites also showed significant increase in compressive modulus and sensitivity of electrical conductivity to compressive strain.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded