Herein, we report the conductivity of SWNT networks can be dramatically improved by in-situ polymerization of a thin layer of self-doped conducting polymer around and along the carbon nanotubes. The formed conducting polymer improves the contacts between the SWNTs and also acts as a “conductive glue or zipper” effectively assembling the SWNTs into a conductive network which largely decreases the amount of SWNTs needed to reach the high conductive regime of the network. The conductance of the composite network beyond the percolation threshold is two orders of magnitude higher than the network formed from SWNTs alone. More importantly, the conducting polymer layer provides a powerful functionality for a variety of potential applications, including flexible sensors. However, these advantages can not be obtained by post mixing the preformed conducting polymer and the ss-DNA/SWNTs. Surprisingly, these advantages also cannot be obtained by in-situ polymerization with the pre-oxidized ss-DNA/SWNTs, known as the “seed method”, to produce conducting polymer nanowires. We applied a series of techniques characterizing the produced composite to study the electronic and molecular origins of these remarkable effects.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2008: Materials, Fabrication, Particles, and Characterization – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 35 - 38
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices