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Temperature dependence of electrical conductivity in double-wall and multi-wall carbon nanotube/polyester nanocomposites
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The aim of this study is to investigate temperature dependence of electrical conductivity of carbon nanotube (CNT)/polyester nanocomposites from room temperature to 77 K using four-point probe test method. To produce nanocomposites, various types and amounts of CNTs (0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 wt.%) were dispersed via 3-roll mill technique within a specially formulized resin blend of thermoset polyesters. CNTs used in the study include multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNT) with and without amine functional groups (-NH2). It was observed that the incorporation of carbon nanotubes into resin blend yields electrically percolating networks and electrical conductivity of the resulting nanocomposites increases with increasing amount of nanotubes. However, nanocomposites containing amino functionalized carbon nanotubes exhibit relatively lower electrical conductivity compared to those with non-functionalized carbon nanotubes. To get better interpretation of the mechanism leading to conductive network via CNTs with and without amine functional groups, the experimental results were fitted to fluctuation-induced tunneling through the barriers between the metallic regions model. It was found that the results are in good agreement with prediction of proposed model.