Preparation and characterization of hybrid conducting polymer-carbon nanotube yarn
Hybrid polypyrrole (PPy)-multi walled carbon nanotube(MWNT) yarns were obtained by chemical and electrochemical polymerization of pyrrole on the surface and within the porous interior of twisted MWNT yarns. The material was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, electrochemical, mechanical and electrical measurements. It was found that the hybrid PPy-MWNT yarns possessed significantly higher mechanical strength (over 740 MPa) and Young's modulus (over 54 GPa) than the pristine MWNT yarn. The hybrid yarns also exhibited substantially higher electrical conductivity (over 235 S cm-1) and their specific capacitance was found to be in excess of 60 F g-1. Measurements of temperature dependence of electrical conductivity revealed semiconducting behaviour, with a large increase of band gap near 100 K. The collected low temperature data are in good agreement with a three-dimensional variable range hopping model (3D-VRH). The improved durability of the yarns is important for electrical applications. The composite yarns can be produced in commercial quantities and used for applications where the electrical conductivity and good mechanical properties are of primary importance.