Electrically Conducting Silk Fibroin Microspheres by Incorporation of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on their Surfaces
Electrorheological (ER) particles were obtained by the adsorption of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) on the surface of silk fibroin microspheres. The resulting spherical polymeric microspheres consist of a silk fibroin core and an MWCNT shell, which is electrically conducting. The silk fibroin microspheres were prepared by the phase separation of the silk fibroin and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blend solution, and the MWCNT dispersion was prepared by ultrasonication with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactant. The ER particles were prepared using a simple process involving the blending of the silk fibroin microsphere suspension and aqueous MWCNT dispersion. The morphology of the ER particles was examined by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and their electrical conductivity measured by the four-probe method was 4.8×10-4 S/cm. The prepared composite microspheres suspended in silicone oil showed typical ER characteristics, including the formation of a chain-like structure under an applied electric field (1.9 kV/mm). This phenomenon can be explained by the interfacial polarizability of the MWCNTs adsorbed on the surface of the polymeric microspheres.
Hyungsun Kim, Junichi Hojo and Soo Wohn Lee
S. H. Yoon et al., "Electrically Conducting Silk Fibroin Microspheres by Incorporation of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on their Surfaces", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 544-545, pp. 977-980, 2007