Carbon nanostructure-derived polyaniline metacomposites: Electrical, dielectric, and giant magnetoresistive properties

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Polyaniline (PANI) nanocomposites incorporating different loadings of graphene and various other carbon nanostructures including carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) have been synthesized using a surface-initiated polymerization (SIP) method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results indicate that the graphene has been exfoliated into a few layers (typically one, two, and three layers) during polymerization and has been uniformly dispersed in the PANI matrix. The graphene layer dispersion degree is quantified by a free-path spacing measurement (FPSM) method based on the TEM microstructures. The SIP method also demonstrates its feasibility for coating PANI on one-dimensional (1D) CNFs and CNTs without introducing additional surface functional groups. The effects of graphene size, loading level, and surface functionality on the electrical conductivity and dielectric permittivity of their corresponding nanocomposites have been systematically studied. The temperature-dependent conductivity behavior revealed a quasi-3D variable range hopping (VRH) electron transport mechanism for all the nanocomposites. Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) at room temperature is observed in pure PANI, which can be enhanced by the incorporation of a high loading of graphene (5%) due to the π-π stacking-induced efficient electron transport at the PANI/graphene interface. More interestingly, negative permittivity is found in each composite which can be easily tuned by adjusting the filler loading, morphology, and surface functionality. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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