American Chemical Society
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Synthesis of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Polyborosiloxane Nanocomposites with Mechanically Adaptive and Self-Healing Capabilities for Flexible Conductors

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-08-17, 00:00 authored by Tongfei Wu, Biqiong Chen
Intrinsic self-healing polyborosiloxane (PBS) and its multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-reinforced nanocomposites were synthesized from hydroxyl terminated poly­(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and boric acid at room temperature. The formation of Si–O–B moiety in PBS was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. PBS and its MWCNT-reinforced nanocomposites were found possessing water- or methanol-activated mechanically adaptive behaviors; the compressive modulus decreased substantially when exposed to water or methanol vapor and recovered their high value after the stimulus was removed. The compressive modulus was reduced by 76%, 86%, 90%, and 83% for neat PBS and its nanocomposites containing 3.0, 6.2, and 13.3 wt % MWCNTs, respectively, in water vapor, and the modulus reduction activated by methanol vapor was greater than by water vapor. MWCNTs at higher contents acted as a continuous electrical channel in PBS offering electrical conductivity, which was up to 1.21 S/cm for the nanocomposite containing 13.3 wt % MWCNTs. The MWCNT-reinforced PBS nanocomposites also showed excellent mechanically and electrically self-healing properties, moldability, and adhesion to PDMS elastomer substrate. These properties enabled a straightforward fabrication of self-repairing MWCNT/PBS electronic circuits on PDMS elastomer substrates.