Surfactant-assisted processing of polyimide/multiwall carbon nanotube nanocomposites for microelectronics applications

Qing-Yuan Tang, Yan-Cheong Chan, Ning-Bew Wong, Rebecca Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dispersion and stability of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) inside a polymer matrix, especially with a high CNT content, are still big challenges. Moreover, the interaction between CNTs and the polymer matrix should be strong enough to improve the mechanical properties. The efficient dispersion of CNTs is essential for the formation of a uniform distribution of a CNT network in a polymer composite. Polyimide/multiwall CNT nanocomposites were synthesized by in situ polymerization with the aid of a surfactant. A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study proved that the surfactant did not hamper the polymerization of the polyimide. The microstructure, storage modulus and electrical conductivity of the nanocomposites were improved using a particular amount of the surfactant. Environmental stability test results showed that the polyimide with 1wt% of CNTs produced with the aid of the surfactant possessed excellent reliability in high-temperature and high-humidity environments. Surfactants were successfully used to obtain fine-structure polyimide/CNT nanocomposites by in situ polymerization. The enhancement of the mechanical properties was attributed to the incorporation of the surfactant. A percolation of electrical conductivity could be achieved with 1 wt% of CNTs. (C) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1245
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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