Does the Type of Polymer and Carbon Nanotube Structure Control the Electromagnetic Shielding in Melt-Mixed Polymer Nanocomposites?
A suitable polymer matrix and well dispersed conducting fillers forming an electrically conducting network are the prime requisites for modern age electromagnetic shield designing. An effective polymer-based shield material is designed that can attenuate 99.9% of incident electromagnetic (EM) radiation at a minimum thickness of <0.5 mm. This is accomplished by the choice of a suitable partially crystalline polymer matrix while comparing non-polar polypropylene (PP) with polar polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and a best suited filler nanomaterial by comparing different types of carbon nanotubes such as; branched, single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which were added in only 2 wt %. Different types of interactions (polar-polar and CH-π and donor-acceptor) make b-MWCNT more dispersible in the PVDF matrix, which together with high crystallinity resulted in the best electrical conductivity and electromagnetic shielding ability of this composite. This investigation additionally conceals the issues related to the thickness of the shield material just by stacking individual thin nanocomposite layers containing different carbon nanotube (CNT) types with 0.3 mm thickness in a simple manner and finally achieves 99.999% shielding efficiency at just 0.9 mm thickness when using a suitable order of the different PVDF based nanocomposites.