Nanocomposite materials consisting of polyaniline (PANI) and exfoliated WS2 were synthesized. The WS2 was prepared by reacting tungstic acid with thiourea at 500°C under nitrogen flow. Samples were prepared with a WS2 content of 1, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 37, and 64% by mass. An improvement in the electronic conductivity value of the PANI was observed through the incorporation of exfoliated WS2. The electronic conductivity of PANI-15%WS2 was 24.5 S/cm, an eightfold increase when compared to pure PANI. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) provided evidence that the nanocomposites are in an exfoliated state. XRD and TEM showed that the nanocomposites were completely amorphous, suggesting lack of structural order in these materials, while their EPR signals were considerably narrower compared to pure PANI, indicating the formation of genuine exfoliated systems. Furthermore, our research showed that WS2 can be used as a filler to improve activation energy of decomposition of the polymer. By using the Ozawa method, we studied the decomposition kinetics for the nanocomposites, as well as for the pure polymer. The activation energy for the decomposition of pure PANI was found to be 131.2 kJ/mol. Increasing the amount of WS2 to 12.5% in the PANI increases the activation energy of decomposition to 165.4 kJ/mol, an enhancement of 34.2 kJ/mol over the pure polymer.
Part of the book: Conducting Polymers