Optimal nanomaterial concentration: harnessing percolation theory to enhance polymer nanocomposite performance Academic Article uri icon


  • A major challenge in nanocomposite research is to predict the optimal nanomaterial concentration (ONC) yielding a maximal reinforcement in a given property. We present a simple approach to identify the ONC based on our finding that it is typically located in close proximity to an abrupt increase in polymer matrix viscosity, termed the rheological percolation threshold, and thus may be used as an indicator of the ONC. This premise was validated by rheological and fractography studies of composites loaded by nanomaterials including graphene nanoribbons or carbon or tungsten disulfide nanotubes. The correlation between in situ viscosity, the rheological percolation threshold concentration and the nanocomposite fractography demonstrates the utility of the method.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017