Dissolution of MWCNTs by using polyoxadiazoles, and highly effective reinforcement of their composite films


Nonmodified multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/sulfonated polyoxadiazole (sPOD) nanocomposites are successfully prepared by a facile solution route. The pristine MWCNTs are dispersed in a sPOD solution, and the mixtures are fabricated into thin films by solution casting. The homogeneous dispersion of nanotubes in the composites is confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The mechanical properties, thermal stability, and electrical conductivity are investigated. Tensile strength, elongation at break, and tensile energy to break are shown to increase by more than 28, 45, and 73%, respectively, by incorporating up to 1.0 wt % pristine MWCNTs. The experimental values for sPOD/MWCNTs composite stiffness are compared with Halpin-Tsai and modified Halpin-Tsai predictions. The storage modulus is found to increase up to 10% at low CNT loading. The composite films, which have an outstanding thermal stability, show an increase of up to 57 °C in the initial degradation temperature. The addition of 1.0 wt % MWCNTs increases the electrical conductivity of the sPOD matrix by two orders of magnitude.
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