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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 642080, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/642080
Research Article

Electrically Conductive Compounds of Polycarbonate, Liquid Crystalline Polymer, and Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

1Polymer Processing and Polymer Nanomaterials Research Unit, The Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Department of Textile Science and Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Rangsit Center, Pathum Thani 12121, Thailand
3Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-0301, USA

Received 24 April 2012; Revised 12 July 2012; Accepted 29 July 2012

Academic Editor: Suprakas Sinha Ray

Copyright © 2012 Penwisa Pisitsak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) was blended with polycarbonate (PC) and multiwalled carbon nanotube (CNT) with the goal of improving electrical conductivity and mechanical properties over PC. The LCP was anticipated to produce fibrillar domains in PC and help improve the mechanical properties. The study was carried out using two grades of LCP—Vectra A950 (VA950) and Vectra V400P (V400P). The compounds contained 20 wt% LCP and 0.5 to 15 wt% CNT. The compounds were prepared by melt-blending in a twin-screw minicompounder and then injection molded using a mini-injection molder. The fibrillar domains of LCP were found only in the case of PC/VA950 blend. However, these fibrils turned into droplets in the presence of CNT. It was found that CNT preferentially remained inside the LCP domains as predicted from the value of spreading coefficient. The electrical conductivity showed the following order with the numbers in parenthesis representing the electrical percolation threshold of the compounds: PC/CNT (1%) > PC/VA950P/CNT (1%) > PC/V400P/CNT (3%). The storage modulus showed improvements with the addition of CNT and VA950.