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Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology


MWCNT, iPP, Thermal and electrical conductivity, Percolation, Shearing and anisotropy


Polymer nanocomposite materials of higher thermal and electrical transport properties are important to nanotechnology applications such as thermal management, packaging, labelling and the textile industry. In this work, thermal and electrical conductivities in nanocomposites of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and isotactic polypropylene (iPP) are investigated in terms of MWCNT loading, temperature dependence, and anisotropy caused by melt shearing. IPP/MWCNT nanocomposites show a significant increase in thermal and electrical conductivity with increasing MWCNT loading, reaching 17.5 W/m K and 10−6 S/m, respectively, at a MWCNT 5.0 weight percentage at 40°C. The increase in MWCNT/iPP is more than would be expected based on the additivity rule, and suggests a reduction of the interfacial thermal electrical resistance at nanotube-nanotube junctions and the nanotube-matrix interface. The anisotropy in both conductivities was observed to be larger at low temperature and to disappear at higher temperature due to isotropic electrical and thermal contact in both directions. Oriented MWCNT/iPP nanocomposites exhibit higher electrical and thermal conductivities, attributed primarily by orientation of nanotubes due to the shearing fabrication process.

Grant Information

This work was supported by the Department of Physics at WPI as well as grants from the NSF under the awards DMR-0821292 MRI, DMR-0602473, and DMR-1206010.



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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