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Microscale study of electrical characteristics of epoxy-multiwall carbon nanotube nanocomposites

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4 Author(s)
Njuguna, M.K. ; Sch. of Eng. Syst., Queensland Univ. of Technol., Brisbane, QLD, Australia ; Cheng Yan ; Bell, John M. ; Yarlagadda, P.K.D.V.

Epoxy-multiwall carbon nanotube nanocomposite thin films were prepared by spin casting. High power air plasma was used to preferentially etch a coating of epoxy and expose the underlying carbon nanotube network. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination revealed well distributed and spatially connected carbon nanotube network in both the longitudinal direction (plasma etched surface) and transverse direction (through-thickness fractured surface). Topographical examination and conductive mode imaging of the plasma etched surface using atomic force microscope (AFM) in the contact mode enabled direct imaging of topography and current maps of the emdedded carbon nanotube network. Bundles consisting of at least three single carbon nanotubes form part of the percolating network observed under high resolution current maps. Predominantly non-ohmic response is obtained in this study; behaviour attributed to less than effective polymer material removal when using air plasma etching.

Published in:

Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems (NEMS), 2011 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

20-23 Feb. 2011