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UTILIZATION OF SWNT-FILLED POLYSTYRENE OBTAINED BY MINIEMULSION POLYMERIZATION AS A MODIFIER FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE EPOXY RESINS

H.J. Barraza, O. Rueda, F. Pompeo, E.A. O'Rear, R.J.J. Williams and D.E. Resasco
University of Oklahoma, US

Keywords: Nanotubes, Polymer Composites, Miniemulsion, Surfactant

Abstract:
One of the several reasons that engineering research aimed towards the purification, functionalization and incorporation of carbon nanotubes into polymeric matrices has been actively pursued for the last five years is that vastly important applications, from anticorrosion paints to nanometer-thick conductive thin films, are expected to have a direct impact on the world market worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Among the challenges introduced in the fabrication of nanotube-filled polymer composites is the necessity to creatively control and make use of surface interactions between carbon nanotubes and polymeric chains in order to obtain an adequate dispersion throughout the matrix without destroying the integrity of the nanotubes (NTs). Current solution-evaporation methods [1-6] to incorporate single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) in polymers are limited by the tendency of SWNT’s to aggregate, as well as the large amounts of organic solvent required to dissolve the polymeric matrices. In the current work, we show that nanotube-polystyrene hybrid materials (SWNT-PS) can be prepared in situ under miniemulsion polymerization conditions, utilizing an aqueous cationic surfactant solution - slightly above the critical micelle concentration (CMC). Important properties of the SWNT-PS material prepared by miniemulsion polymerization were analyzed by different techniques: dissolving experiments, Raman spectroscopy, TEM, DC resistivity and AC Impedance

NSTI Nanotech 2003 Conference Technical Program Abstract

 
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