Title Does the processing method resulting in different states of an interconnected network of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in polymeric blend nanocomposites affect EMI shielding properties?
Date 29.05.2018
Number 55292
Abstract Electromagnetic interference (EMI), an unwanted phenomenon, often affects the reliability of precise electronic circuitry. To prevent this, an effective shielding is prerequisite to protect the electronic devices. In this study, an attempt was made to understand how processing of polymeric blend nanocomposites involving multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) affects the evolving interconnected network structure of MWCNTs and eventually their EMI shielding properties. Thereby, the overall blend morphology and especially the connectivity of the polycarbonate (PC) component, in which the MWCNTs tend to migrate, as well as the perfectness of their migration, and the state of nanotube dispersion are considered. For this purpose, blends of varying composition of PC and poly(methyl methacrylate) were chosen as a model system as they show a phase diagram with lower critical solution temperature type of characteristic. Such blends were processed in two different ways: solution mixing (from the homogeneous state) and melt mixing (in the biphasic state). In both the processes, MWCNTs (3 wt %) were mixed into the blends, and the evolved structures (after phase separation induced by annealing in solution-mixed blends) and the quenched structures (as the blends exit the extruder) were systematically studied using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Both the set of blends were subjected to the same thermal history, however, under different conditions such as under quiescent conditions (in the case of solution mixing) and under shear (in the case of melt mixing). The electrical volume conductivity and the evolved morphologies of these blend nanocomposites were evaluated and correlated with the measured EMI shielding behavior. The results indicated that irrespective of the type of processing, the MWCNTs localized in the PC component; driven by thermodynamic factors and depending on the blend composition, sea-island, cocontinuous, and phase-inverted structures evolved. Interestingly, the better interconnected network structures of MWCNTs observed using TEM in the solution-mixed samples together with larger nanotube lengths resulted in higher EMI shielding properties (-27 dB at 18 GHz) even if slightly higher electrical volume conductivities were observed in melt-mixed samples. Moreover, the shielding was absorption-driven, facilitated by the dense network of MWCNTs in the PC component of the blends, at any given concentration of nanotubes. Taken together, this study highlights the effects of different blend nanocomposite preparation methods (solution and melt) and the developed morphology and nanotube network structure in MWCNT filled blend nanocomposites on the EMI shielding behavior.
Publisher ACS Omega
Citation ACS Omega 3 (2018) 571-5782
Authors Pawar, S. P. ; Rzeczkowski, P. ; Pötschke, P. ; Krause, B. ; Bose, S.
Tags electric properties electric transport processes and properties microstructure nanoclusters nanocomposites polymer blends polymers

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