Processable Conductive Polypyrrole/Poly(alkyl methacrylate) Composites Prepared by an Emulsion Pathway

Authored by: Eli Ruckenstein , Shiyong Yang

Concentrated Emulsion Polymerization

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367134556
eBook ISBN: 9780429026577
Adobe ISBN:


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Electrically conductive polymer composites of polypyrrole and poly(alkyl methacrylate) have been prepared using a two-step procedure. First, an emulsion is generated by dispersing a chloroform solution of poly(alkyl methacrylate) and pyrrole in a small amount of an aqueous surfactant solution. The surfactant is adsorbed upon the interface between the two phases and ensures, via double-layer repulsion, the stability of the emulsion. Second, the pyrrole present in the emulsion is polymerized and doped by introducing with stirring an aqueous solution of an oxidant in the emulsion. The polypyrrole deposits on the host polymer, and the composite formed is precipitated using a suitable non-solvent. Smooth, lustrous films or other shaped objects with good mechanical properties have been prepared by hot-pressing the obtained materials. The relation between conductivity and the polypyrrole content of the composite exhibits a percolation behaviour. The electrical conductivity can reach values as high as 6-7 S/cm. The mechanical properties of the material depend on the nature of the host polymer employed and on the content of polypyrrole in the composite. The effect of the length of the alkyl chain on the mechanical properties is investigated. The polypyrrole-poly(ethyl methacrylate) composites appear to be the most suitable because they have enough flexibility and also sufficient strength. Compared to cold-pressing, hot-pressing improves the mechanical characteristics, but decreases somewhat the conductivity. Two single-step procedures have also been employed, but they are less efficient than the two-step procedure and lead to very low conductivities.

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