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This work focuses on the DC conductivity and interfacial polarization of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) composites made with single wall nanotubes (SWNTs) and nanotube precursor soot. We aim to compare and contrast the behavior of the two nanofillers in an effort to determine if the precursor material imparts tunable electrical properties to PMMA. The DC activity of the polymers and composites was determined by extrapolating AC conductivity versus frequency plots to zero. Activation energies and DC conductivities were obtained through Arrhenius plots. The conductivity increased with temperature for all the samples in conjunction with viscous flow. Both nanotubes and nanosoot increased the DC conductivities. Activation energies for the SWNT decreased slightly upon the addition of nanotubes to the matrix. However, the activation energies increased with soot content in the matrix, indicating obstruction of motion or possible bridging caused by the soot. Cole–Cole plots were effectively used to determine the extent of interfacial polarization in the composite samples. Plots shifted toward the origin with the addition of carbon nanotubes or with soot concentration indicating a Maxwell-Wagner-Sillars process.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.