Conducting Polymer Composites

Wood K plus (Area WPC) and three scientific partners, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry), the University of Belgrade (Faculty of Physical Chemistry), and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (Polymer Institute) will start a new multilateral, cross-border project “Conducting Polymer Composites, MULT_DR 06/2017” within Multilateral Scientific and Technological Cooperation in the Danube Region 2017–2018, Joint Project, funded by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW).

The modern era of conducting polymers originates from studies on trans-polyacetylene in 1977 and continues up to now. Polyaniline, polypyrrole or poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) are examples of conducting polymers. In addition to conductivity, they also possess ability to respond to various external stimuli by the change in their optical, electrical, chemical and mechanical properties. Conducting polymers are typically prepared chemically by the oxidation of monomer with oxidant in acidic aqueous medium to obtain powders with granular, nanofibrilar or nanotubular morphologies. The understanding of the process underlying the formation of a specific morphology is, however, still a challenge.

This project in cooperation with scientific partners fits into WPC’s strategy for the development of innovative, efficient and functionalized composites based on renewable materials.



The Project

The project focuses on the establishment new cross-border multilateral Austrian-Czech-Serbian-Slovak scientific cooperation, which should produce fruitful outcomes in form of new knowledge, technologies and practical solutions

The project will be focused on the preparation and characterization of new composites based on conducting polymers and various inorganic materials (noble metals, oxides, graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes, graphite, etc.). The aim is to apply these composites as conductive filler for thermoplastic polymers to explore their potential of electromagnetic shielding.

As thermoplastic polymers is planned to use polylactic acid as biobased polymer and polypropylene and polyethylene as commodity polymers in packaging area. Conducting polymers such as polyaniline, polypyrrole or poly(3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene), and their composites will be prepared in various forms such as powders, thin films, colloidal dispersions and hydrogels (see Figure 1).