Bimodal latex effect on spin-coated thin conductive polymer-single-walled carbon nanotube layers
ArticleMoradi, M.A., Larrakoetxea-Angoitia, K., Berkel, van, S., Gnanasekaran, K., Friedrich, H., Heuts, J.P.A., van der Schoot, P.P.A.M. & van Herk, A.M. (2015). Bimodal latex effect on spin-coated thin conductive polymer-single-walled carbon nanotube layers. Langmuir, 31(44), 11982-11988. In Scopus Cited 4 times.
We synthesize two differently sized poly(methyl methacrylate-co-tert-butyl acrylate) latexes by emulsion polymerization and mix these with a sonicated single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) dispersion, in order to prepare 3% SWCNT composite mixtures. We spin-coat these mixtures at various spin-speed rates and spin times over a glass substrate, producing a thin, transparent, solid, conductive layer. Keeping the amount of SWCNTs constant, we vary the weight fraction of our smaller 30-nm latex particles relative to the larger 70-nm-sized ones. We find a maximum in the electrical conductivity up to 370 S/m as a function of the weight fraction of smaller particles, depending on the overall solid content, the spin speed, and the spin time. This maximum occurs at 3-5% of the smaller latex particles. We also find a more than 2-fold increase in conductivity parallel to the radius of spin-coating than perpendicular to it. Atomic force microscopy points at the existence of lanes of latex particles in the spin-coated thin layer, while large-area transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that the SWCNTs are aligned over a grid fixed on the glass substrate during the spin-coating process. We extract the conductivity distribution on the surface of the thin film and translate this into the direction of the SWCNTs in it.