A surfactant dispersed SWCNT-polystyrene composite characterized for electrical and mechanical properties Academic Article uri icon


  • Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were dispersed in polystyrene (PS) at 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 1.0 wt.% (weight percent) concentrations using a surfactant assisted method. The resulting nanocomposites were characterized for their electrical conductivity, mechanical strength and fracture toughness properties. Results show a significant improvement in electrical conductivity with electrical percolation occurring by 0.2 wt.% SWCNT loading and the SWCNT-PS nanocomposite fully conductive at 1.0 wt.%. Three-point bend tests showed a decline in flexural strength and break strain with the addition of 0.1 wt.% SWCNTs. Improvements in the flexural modulus, strength and break strain with increasing SWCNT wt.% content followed The fracture toughness of the SWCNT-PS nanocomposites, in terms of the critical stress-intensity factor KIC, was reduced relative to the neat material. From optical and high resolution scanning electron microscopy the presence of the carbon nanotubes is shown to have an adverse effect on the crazing mechanism in this PS material, resulting in a deterioration of the mechanical properties that depend on this mechanism. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing

author list (cited authors)

  • Ayewah, D., Davis, D. C., Krishnamoorti, R., Lagoudas, D. C., Sue, H., & Willson, M.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Ayewah, Daniel OO||Davis, Daniel C||Krishnamoorti, Ramanan||Lagoudas, Dimitris C||Sue, Hung-Jue||Willson, Maximilian

publication date

  • July 2010