The electrical properties and crystallization of stereocomplex poly(lactic acid) filled with carbon nanotubes
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) filled poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) and PLLA/poly(d-lactic acid) (PDLA) composites were prepared through a directly melt mixing process. A special crystalline structure of stereocomplex was formed by PLLA and PDLA, which was easily found when mixing two polymers with identical chemical composition but different steric structures. The electrical conductivities were greatly improved by the formation of stereocomplex compared to that of PLLA/MWCNT composites at same MWCNT content. The percolation threshold of the PLLA/PDLA/MWCNT composite at a PLLA/PDLA weight ratio of 50/50 was 0.35 wt%, while being 1.43 wt% of PLLA/MWCNT composites. The X-ray diffraction, non-isothermal and isothermal crystallization results showed that the formation of stereocomplex greatly increased the crystallinity of the composites, meanwhile MWCNTs acted as heterogeneous nucleating agent, which significantly accelerated the nucleation and spherulite growth. Therefore, the PLLA/PDLA/MWCNT composites have a very low percolation threshold due to the volume exclusion effect.