Daugaard, Anders Egede1; Jankova Atanasova, Katja3; Hvilsted, Søren1
1 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 The Danish Polymer Centre, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark
Two new polymer grafts on an industrial grade multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) were prepared through a non-oxidative pathway employing controlled free radical polymerization for surface initiated polymer grafting. After photochemical introduction of an ATRP initiator onto the MWCNT, polymerizations of lauryl or stearyl acrylate were performed, resulting in two novel polymer modifications on the MWCNT (poly(lauryl acrylate) or poly(stearyl acrylate)). The method was found to give time dependent loading of polymers as a function of time (up to 38 wt% for both acrylates), and showed a plateau in loading after 12 h of polymerization. The modified nanomaterials were melt mixed into polypropylene composites with very low filler loading (0.3 wt%), whereafter both the thermal and electrical properties were investigated by DSC and dielectric resonance spectroscopy. The electrical properties were found to be substantially improved, where poly(lauryl acrylate) was found to be the superior surface modification, resulting in a conductive composite.