Electrical and dielectric properties of polyaniline-Al2O 3 nanocomposites derived from various Al2O3 nanostructures

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Four Al2O3 nanostructures (i.e. nanofiber, nanoplatelet, nanorod and nanoflake) have been successfully synthesized via hydrothermal procedures followed by a dehydration process. Subsequently, polyaniline (PANI) nanocomposites incorporating these four Al2O 3 nanostructures have been fabricated using a surface initialized polymerization (SIP) method. Both TEM and SEM are used to characterize the morphologies of the Al2O3 nanostructures and PANI/Al 2O3 nanocomposites. X-Ray diffraction results reveal that the morphology of the nanofiller has a significant effect on the crystallization behavior of the PANI during polymerization. The electrical conductivity and dielectric permittivity of these nanocomposites are strongly related to both the morphology of the filler and the dispersion quality. Temperature-dependent- conductivity measurements from 50-290 K show that the electron transportation of the nanocomposites follows a quasi 3-d variable range hopping (VRH) conduction mechanism. The extent of charge carrier delocalization calculated from VRH is well correlated to the dielectric response of these nanocomposites. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results reveal an enhanced thermal stability of the PANI/Al2O 3 nanocomposites as compared to that of pure PANI due to the strong interaction between the nanofillers and polymer matrix. The mechanism of the SIP method is also elaborated in this work. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.

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Journal of Materials Chemistry

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