Polyetherimide (PEI) nanocomposites comprising bucky gels of industrial-grade multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and ionic liquid (IL, 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIM][PF6])) were prepared. The processing framework for this nanocomposite is simple, reproducible, and easily scalable. The strong interaction between IL and MWCNTs caused the latter to uniformly disperse in the PEI matrix while IL flowed into the gaps between the nanotubes' walls. The nanocomposite exhibited an enhanced conductivity of 2.01 × 104 Ω·cm volume resistivity at room temperature; the value decreased dramatically by 12 orders of magnitude, compared to pristine PEI. The IL free ions and MWCNTs networks provided excellent channels for electron transfer. PEI/bucky gels nanocomposites also showed improved thermal stability and high tensile strength. Other than having antiwear properties, this material can have numerous applications in the aerospace and electronics industries. Moreover, our work presents a "green" method toward modified nanocomposites industrial production as IL is environmentally safe and is easily recyclable. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)