Electrical and optical percolations of polystyrene latex-multiwalled carbon nanotube composites
Electrical conductivity and optical transmittance properties of polystyrene (PS)-multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composite films were investigated. Composite films were prepared by mixing of various mass fractions of MWCNT in PS-water dispersions. After water evaporates powder composite films were annealed at 175 degrees C above the glass transition of PS for 20 min. Photon transmission and two point probe resistivity techniques were employed to determine the variations of the optical and the electrical properties of composites. Transmitted light intensity I(tr) and surface resistivity R(s) were monitored as a function of MWCNT mass fraction (M). It was observed that both the surface resistivity and the optical transparency were decreased by increasing the amount of MWCNT added to the polymeric system. Conductivity and optical results were interpreted according to the classical and site percolation theory respectively. The electrical (sigma) and the optical (op) percolation threshold values and critical exponents were calculated as M(sigma) = 1.8 wt.% M(op) = 0-0.13 wt.% and beta(sigma) = 2.25 beta(op) = 0.32 respectively. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.