By Petra Potschke, Sven Pegel, Michael Claes and Daniel Bonduel
ABSTRACT: Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) are introduced into thermoplastic matrices (polycarbonate and polyamide) by melt blending using polyethylene (PE) based concentrates with high MWNT loadings (24–44 wt.-%). MWNT surfaces were treated with a metallocene-based complex to afford the in-situ polymerization of ethylene directly from the surface. The resulting concentrates showed excellent MWNT pre-dispersion. Due to the high interfacial energy between MWNT and PE, the nanotubes migrate into matrix polymers with lower interfacial energies, like polycarbonate and polyamide, and thereby remain in their excellent dispersion state. Thus, electrical percolation is achieved at lower MWNT contents as compared to direct incorporation. For polycarbonate it is shifted from 0.75 to 0.25 wt.-%.