Syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) is a semi-crystalline polymer with high melting temperature and good mechanical strength. Composites of sPS filled with different contents of graphene nanosheets (GNS) are prepared by coagulation method. Two types of GNS with different thicknesses (denoted as G1 and G10) are studied to unveil the effect of aspect ratio on electrical conductivity and crystallization kinetics of the composite. Atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) show that G1 is a wrinkled sheet with an average thickness of ∼2 nm and that G10 is a smooth flake with a thickness of ∼50 nm; both possess a similar basal dimension of ∼5 μm. The percolation thresholds for electrical conductivity (φc) of the G1-filled and G10-filled composites are 0.46 and 3.84 vol%, respectively. At a given GNS content, the electrical conductivity of the G1-filled composites is higher than that of the G10-filled composites. Both findings are attributed to the larger GNS aspect ratio of G1 compared with G10. The deduced φc of the G1-filled composites is significantly larger than that of GNS-filled amorphous atactic PS composites, indicating that the crystallizability of the matrix has an important influence on formation of GNS networks. Both G1 and G10 nanofillers are found to be good nucleating agents for the heterogeneous nucleation of sPS. Because of its wrinkled surface, G1 is less effective than G10 in inducing sPS crystallization. Compared with 2D sheet-like GNS, 1D CNTs are more effective in enhancing sPS crystallization through surface-induced nucleation as well as the chain-tube wrapping behavior in the sPS/CNT composites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics