Carbon Nanotube-Based Poly(ethylene oxide) Nanocomposites


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with their remarkable set of intrinsic properties are outstanding materials to incorporate in and augment the properties of polymer matrices. Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) is a water-soluble, biocompatible polymer that has found various technological applications including as solid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries and in various biomedical and tissue engineering applications. Homogeneous dispersion of anisotropic nanoparticles, especially carbon nanotubes, in a matrix polymer is hindered by strong inter-tube attraction and a weak entropic driving force for the disruption of nematic order of such rodlike nanoparticles. In this chapter, we discuss different pathways to disperse carbon nanotubes in PEO matrix and techniques to quantitatively characterize the state of dispersion. Beyond the geometrical percolation threshold, in their quiescent state, dispersed nanotubes show hierarchical fractal network consisting of aggregated flocs. Internal to the flocs, individual or small bundles of nanotubes overlap each other to form a dense mesh. The inter-floc interaction dominates the linear viscoelasticity. The nonlinear viscoelastic behavior is independent of network size and dominated by cluster dynamics. Interestingly, significant changes in the melting and crystallization behavior of PEO along with a decrease in fractional crystallinity in the presence of carbon nanotubes have been observed. The observed changes significantly exceed those observed for an equivalent Li+ ion concentration mixture. This finding is particularly interesting considering amorphous segment of PEO chains are responsible for ion transport in solid polymer electrolytes. Besides this other technological applications of the carbon nanotube-based PEO nanocomposites will also be discussed.

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Carbon Nanotube-Based Poly(ethylene oxide) Nanocomposites
Book Title
Handbook of Polymer Nanocomposites. Processing, Performance and Application
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  • Kamal K. Kar Send Email (1)
  • Jitendra K. Pandey Send Email (2)
  • Sravendra Rana Send Email (3)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 1 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Programme, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India
  • 2 University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, India
  • 3 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore
  • Authors
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti Send Email (4)
  • Tirtha Chatterjee (5)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 4 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX, 77204, USA
  • 5 Analytical Sciences, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI, 48667, USA
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