JOURNAL OF POLYMER ENGINEERING, vol.41, no.6, pp.467-479, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
As an elastomer, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is used in various applications such aswearable technology and sealants, and is especially preferred in micro-electromechanical device production due to its advantage in fabrication of microstructures. However, some of its applications such as sensor-based or electrode-based are limited due to its insulator aspect. Various conductive nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, graphite, carbon black, and silver nanoparticles were incorporated into the PDMS matrix for the production of conductive nanocomposites. In this study, we produced highly conductive PDMS nanocomposites by addition of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) in a three-dimensional network. Due to the synergistic effect between CNTs and GNPs inside a polymeric matrix, we expected to obtain PDMS nanocomposites more conductive than nanocomposites with only CNTs. Additionally, we investigated the effect of sulfuric acid treatment on the electrical conductivity and surface composition of prepared PDMS/MWCNT/GNP nanocomposites. Results indicated that the electrical conductivity in sulfuric acid-treated samples was significantly higher than in untreated samples. Levels of conductivity in the range of 270.7-1074.8 S/m were achieved; the higher ones were the samples treated with sulfuric acid solution.