Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanocomposites filled with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) wrapped carbon nanotubes were prepared via a solution casting technique. The effect of the molecular weight (polymer chain length) of the PVP on the ability to wrap different nanotube structures and its impact towards nanotube dispersibility in the polymer matrix was explored. The study was conducted with PVP of four different molecular weights and nanotubes of three different structures. The composites that exhibit an effective nanotube dispersion lead to a nanotube network that facilitates improved thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. It was observed that nanotubes of different structures exhibit stable dispersions in the polymer matrix though PVP functionalization of different molecular weights, but the key is achieving an effective nanotube dispersion at low PVP concentrations. This is observed in MWNT and AP-SWNT based composites with PVP of low molecular weight, leading to a thermal conductivity enhancement of 147% and 53%, respectively, while for P3-SWNT based composites, PVP of high molecular weight yields an enhancement of 25% in thermal conductivity compared to the non-functionalized CNT-PVDF composite.
- Carbon nanotubes
- Non-covalent functionalization
- Physical properties
- Polymer nanocomposites