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Synthesis of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Polyborosiloxane Nanocomposites with Mechanically Adaptive and Self-Healing Capabilities for Flexible Conductors
journal contributionposted 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.