Detection of percolating paths in polyhedral segregated network composites using electrostatic force microscopy and conductive atomic force microscopy

Waddell, J.; Ou, R.; Capozzi, C. J.; Gupta, S.; Parker, C. A.; Gerhardt, R. A.; Seal, K.; Kalinin, S. V.; Baddorf, A. P.
December 2009
Applied Physics Letters;12/7/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 23, p233122
Academic Journal
Composite specimens possessing polyhedral segregated network microstructures require a very small amount of nanosize filler, <1 vol %, to reach percolation because percolation occurs by accumulation of the fillers along the edges of the deformed polymer matrix particles. In this paper, electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) and conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) were used to confirm the location of the nanosize fillers and the corresponding percolating paths in polymethyl methacrylate/carbon black composites. The EFM and C-AFM images revealed that the polyhedral polymer particles were coated with filler, primarily on the edges as predicted by the geometric models provided.


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