Electrical conductance of a dispersed carbon nanotube within a polyurethane matrix


Huma R. Jafry, huma@rice.edu1, Eoghan Dillon, eoghan.dillon@rice.edu1, Divya Chakravarthi2, E. V. Barrera2, and Andrew R. Barron, arb@rice.edu3. (1) Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, (2) Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, (3) Department of Chemistry, Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005
Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) are mixed with a polyurethane solution using various dispersion techniques including homogenization, probe sonication, and blending. The addition of solvents and surfactants has been explored to aid in the suspension of the SWNT in the polyurethane matrix. Solvents and surfactants studied include THF, Pluronic F108, and DMF. The resulting SWNT/polyurethane dispersion was sprayed onto a glass substrate, using a spray gun to provide a smooth coating. Electrical conductivity measurements were made using a four-point electrical conductivity probe. Studies were performed to determine optimal coating thickness and dispersion effects on electrical conductivity of the matrix.