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    Polypropylene-based melt mixed composites with singlewalled carbon nanotubes for thermoelectric applications: Switching from p-type to n-type by the addition of polyethylene glycol
    (Oxford : Elsevier Science, 2017) Luo, Jinji; Cerretti, Giacomo; Krause, Beate; Zhang, Long; Otto, Thomas; Jenschke, Wolfgang; Ullrich, Mathias; Tremel, Wolfgang; Voit, Brigitte; Pötschke, Petra
    The thermoelectric properties of melt processed conductive nanocomposites consisting of an insulating polypropylene (PP) matrix filled with singlewalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and copper oxide (CuO) were evaluated. An easy and cheap route to switch p-type composites into n-type was developed by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) during melt mixing. At the investigated CNT concentrations of 0.8 wt% and 2 wt% (each above the electrical percolation threshold of ∼0.1 wt%), and a fixed CuO content of 5 wt%, the PEG addition converted p-type composites (positive Seebeck coefficient (S)) into n-type (negative S). PEG was also found to improve the filler dispersion inside the matrix. Two composites were prepared: P-type polymer/CNT composites with high S (up to 45 μV/K), and n-type composites (with S up to −56 μV/K) through the addition of PEG. Two prototypes with 4 and 49 thermocouples of these p- and n-type composites were fabricated, and delivered an output voltage of 21 mV and 110 mV, respectively, at a temperature gradient of 70 K.
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    Dispersability of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in polycarbonate-chloroform solutions
    (Oxford : Elsevier Science, 2014) Staudinger, Ulrike; Krause, Beate; Steinbach, Christine; Pötschke, Petra; Voit, Brigitte
    The dispersion of commercial multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs, Nanocyl™ NC7000) in chloroform and in polycarbonate (PC)-chloroform solutions was investigated by variation of the polymer concentration, MWCNT amount and sonication time and compared with PC/MWCNT composites, which were processed by melt mixing, subsequently dissolved in chloroform and dispersed via sonication under the same conditions. The sedimentation behaviour was characterised under centrifugal forces using a LUMiSizer® separation analyser. The space and time resolved extinction profiles as a measure of the stability of the dispersion and the particle size distribution were evaluated. Sonication up to 5 min gradually increases the amount of dispersed particles in the solutions. A significant improvement of the MWCNT dispersion in chloroform was achieved by the addition of PC indicating the mechanism of polymer chain wrapping around the MWCNTs. In dispersions of melt mixed PC/MWCNT composites the dispersion of MWCNTs is significantly enhanced already at a low sonication time of only 0.5 min due to very efficient polymer wrapping during the melt mixing process. However, the best dispersion quality does not lead to the highest electrical conductivity of thin composite films made of these PC/MWCNT dispersions.
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    Interfacial chemistry using a bifunctional coupling agent for enhanced electrical properties of carbon nanotube based composites
    (Oxford : Elsevier Science, 2013) Socher, Robert; Jakisch, Lothar; Krause, Beate; Oertel, Ulrich; Voit, Brigitte; Pötschke, Petra
    A bifunctional coupling agent (BCA) containing one oxazoline and one benzoxazinone group was applied to promote a reaction between polyamide 12 (PA12) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) during melt mixing. With this modification, the MWCNT content needed for the electrical percolation was significantly reduced by more than a factor of three. For amino functionalized MWCNT-PA12 composites adding 1 wt.% BCA electrical percolation was reached at only 0.37 wt.% MWCNTs compared to 1.0 wt.% without BCA. With the help of a model reaction, the covalent attachment of the BCA to the MWCNTs could be shown by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and via fluorescence spectroscopy. Model compounds were applied containing either only the oxazoline or the benzoxazinone group to show that the better electrical properties in the PA12-MWCNT composites were a result of a covalent bond between the polymer and the nanotube which only takes place when the BCA was used. In addition, significantly higher electrical conductivity values were obtained by the addition of BCA as well with amino functionalized as with nonmodified commercial MWCNTs. This surprising result was attributed to the significant hydroxy group content on the surface of those commercial MWCNTs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    Influence of different carbon nanotubes on the electrical and mechanical properties of melt mixed poly(ether sulfone)-multi walled carbon nanotube composites
    (Barking : Elsevier, 2012) Chakraborty, Sourav; Pionteck, Jürgen; Krause, Beate; Banerjee, Susanta; Voit, Brigitte
    Commercial Udel® poly(ether sulfone) (PSU) was filled with three different commercially available multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by small scale melt mixing. The MWCNTs were as grown NC 7000 and two of its derivatives prepared by ball milling treatment. One of them was unmodified (NC 3150); the other was amino modified (NC 3152). The main difference beside the reactivity was the reduced aspect ratio of NC 3150 and NC 3152 caused by ball milling process. All PSU/MWCNT composites with similar filler content were prepared under fixed processing conditions and comparative analysis of their electrical and mechanical properties were performed and were correlated with their microstructure, characterized by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A non-uniform MWCNT dispersion was observed in all composites. The MWCNTs were present in form of agglomerates in the size of 10-60. μm whereas the deagglomerated part was homogeneously distributed in the PSU matrix. The differences in the agglomeration states correlate with the variations of properties between different PSU/MWCNT composites. The lowest electrical percolation threshold of 0.25-0.5. wt.% was observed for the shortened non-functionalized MWCNT composites and the highest for amine-modified MWCNT composites (ca. 1.5. wt.%). The tensile behavior of the three composites was only slightly altered with CNT loading as compared to the pure PSU. However, the elongation at break showed a reduction with MWCNT loading and the reduction was least for composite with best MWCNT dispersion. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.