, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 1441-1452
Date: 31 Oct 2008

Fabrication and characterization of iron oxide nanoparticles filled polypyrrole nanocomposites

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Abstract

The effect of iron oxide nanoparticle addition on the physicochemical properties of the polypyrrole (PPy) was investigated. In the presence of iron oxide nanoparticles, PPy was observed in the form of discrete nanoparticles, not the usual network structure. PPy showed crystalline structure in the nanocomposites and pure PPy formed without iron oxide nanoparticles. PPy exhibited amorphous structure and nanoparticles were completely etched away in the nanocomposites formed with mechanical stirring over a 7-h reaction. The thermal stability of the PPy in the nanocomposites was enhanced under the thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). The electrical conductivity of the nanocomposites increased greatly upon the initial addition (20 wt%) of iron oxide nanoparticles. However, a higher nanoparticle loading (50 wt%) decreased the conductivity as a result of the dominance of the insulating iron oxide nanoparticles. Standard four-probe measurements indicated a three-dimensional variable-range-hopping conductivity mechanism. The magnetic properties of the fabricated nanocomposites were dependent on the particle loading. Ultrasonic stirring was observed to have a favorable effect on the protection of iron oxide nanoparticles from dissolution in acid. A tight polymer structure surrounds the magnetic nanoparticles, as compared to a complete loss of the magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles during conventional mechanical stirring for the micron-sized iron oxide particles filled PPy composite fabrication.