Thesis Title

In Situ Polymerization of Aniline in the Presence of Carbon Nanotubes to Form Nanocomposite with Enhanced Electrical Conductivity

Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Lifeng Dong


carbon nanotubes, nanocomposite, in situ polymerization, polymer, conductivity

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering


Since its discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have continued to be of great interest due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Of special interests are their large elastic modulus and strength that make them highly attractive for their use as reinforced agents in forming novel nanocomposites. Among the known conductive polymers, polyaniline (PANI) has a high potential due to its ease of synthesis, excellent environmental, thermal stability, and reversible control of its electrical properties. The advantages of the PANI and the CNT can therefore be combined to form a nanocomposite with improved mechanical and electrical properties. In this work, both PANI-single-walled carbon nanotubes and PANI-multi-walled carbon nanotubes composites containing different nanotube contents are synthesized by spin-cast preceded by in situ polymerization. Scanning electron microscope was employed to determine the surface morphology of the nanocomposites, while I-V characterizations revealed their electrical properties thus helping to establish the process-structure-property correlation. Experimental results demonstrated that the in situ polymerization technique was effective in overcoming the challenges faced while using mechanical mixing of CNT and PANI as revealed by the improved microstructures and the tremendous increase in conductivity.


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