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Electrical, mechanical and thermal properties of aligned silver nanowire/polylactide nanocomposite films

In this work, electrically conductive silver nanowire (Ag NW) filled polylactide (PLA) nanocomposites were fabricated and characterized. Ag NWs/PLA nanocomposite films were fabricated using simple solution mixing method and casted onto glass substrates via doctor blading. Following the obtainment of free standing nanocomposites through peeling off, electrical conductivity of the fabricated nano composites, interfacial interactions between Ag NWs and PLA as well as nanocomposite morphology, degree of alignment of Ag NWs, transition temperature and crystallinity among with mechanical performance were investigated. NWs showed good dispersion within the PLA matrix. Due to their high aspect ratio (approximate to 150), a percolation threshold of 0.13 vol% was measured for the nanocomposites. Conductivity of the nanocomposites at the maximum loading (1.74 vol%) was measured as 27 S/m. It was also found that the transition temperatures of PLA matrix remain the same following the formation of nanocomposites. The results obtained herein revealed the potential of these nanocomposite films for electrostatic packaging and electromagnetic shielding applications. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.