We proposed a strategy to enhance the conductivity of polycarbonate by using three-phase hybrid metallic/non-metallic fillers. Ethylene diamine (EDA) functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-EDA) are first decorated with silver nanoparticles. These Ag/ MWCNT-EDA fillers are then coated with a conductive layer of ethylene glycol treated PEDOT: PSS (poly [3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene]: poly [styrenesulfonate]) (EP). In such an approach, the MWCNT backbone is covered by a highly conductive coating made of Ag nanoparticles surrounded by EP. To understand how Ag and EP form a highly conductive coating, the effect of different wt% of Ag nanoparticles on EP was studied. Ag nanoparticles around the size of 128 ± 28 nmeffectively lowered the volume resistivity of bulk EP, resulting in a highly conducting Ag/EP blend. We found that in the final Ag/MWCNT-EDA/EP assembly, the EP coating enhances the electrical conductivity in two ways: (1) it is an efficient dispersing agent that helps in achieving a uniform dispersion of the Ag/MWCNT-EDA and (2) it acts as a conductive bridge between particles (Ag and MWCNT-EDA), reducing the particle to particle resistivity. When inserted into polycarbonate, this three-phase blend successfully reduced the volume resistivity of the polymer by two orders of magnitude compared with previous approaches.
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