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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Aug;3(8):3130-3. doi: 10.1021/am200628c. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Enhanced electrical conductivity in polystyrene nanocomposites at ultra-low graphene content.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.


We compared the electrical conductivity of multiwalled-carbon-nanotube/polystyrene and graphene/polystyrene composites. The conductivity of polystyrene increases from ∼6.7 × 10(-14) to ∼3.49 S/m, with an increase in graphene content from ∼0.11 to ∼1.1 vol %. This is ∼2-4 orders of magnitude higher than for multiwalled-carbon-nanotube/polystyrene composites. Furthermore, we show that the conductivity of the graphene/polystyrene system can be significantly enhanced by incorporation of polylactic acid. The volume-exclusion principle forces graphene into the polystyrene-rich regions (selective localization) and generates ∼4.5-fold decrease in its percolation threshold from ∼0.33 to ∼0.075 vol %.

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