A new method is developed to homogeneously disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes bundles (SWNTs) in an intractable polymer, for example, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (Mw>3*106 g/mol) (UHMWPE). The dispersion is obtained by spraying an aqueous solution of SWNTs onto a fine UHMWPE powder directly obtained from synthesis. The SWNTs are adsorbed on the surface of the polymer powder. Crystallization of the UHMWPE melt followed by rheometry shows that the presence of SWNTs enhances the overall crystallization rate. The observed Rheological behavior of the UHMWPE/SWNT nanocomposites is rather unusual. Varying the content of SWNTs the dynamic viscosity/storage modulus shows a minimum. The decrease in viscosity is attributed to the selective adsorption of the high molar mass fraction onto the nanotubes surface. The increase in viscosity upon further increasing the nanotube content is attributed to the formation of an elastic nanotube-polymer network. The formed nanotube-polymer network is conductive at percolation threshold of 0.6wt% SWNTs.
|Title of host publication
|2006 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - NSTI Nanotech 2006 Technical Proceedings
|Number of pages
|Published - Dec 8 2006