Silver nanowires (Ag-NWs) are idea fillers for electrically conductive polymer composites but tend to aggregate into bundles and settle to bottom during processing of polymer composites due to their very high density and large specific surface area. Herein a simple but very effective approach, namely usage of graphene oxide (GO) as novel dispersant, is proposed to significantly improve the dispersion of Ag-NWs in polymer composites, leading to a dramatically enhanced electrical conductivity (EC). Thus, highly conductive composites based on waterborne polyurethane (PU) filled with Ag-NWs are prepared using a very small amount of GO (0.25–0.33% relative to Ag-NWs) as effective dispersant. As a result, the as-prepared Ag-NW/GO/PU composites show an excellent EC with a value higher than that of Ag-NW-based composites reported previously even with higher Ag-NW contents. Finally, an attempted explanation for GO-assisted dispersion of Ag-NW nanowires in polymer composites is presented.
Composites Science and Technology
Volume 132, 23 August 2016, Pages 57–67