ZnO nanoparticles were mixed with low density polyethylene (LDPE) to form nanocomposites. The distribution of ZnO filler particles was controlled by changing the mixing method, and the effects of controlled inhomogeneous distribution on the electrical resistivity were measured. The percolation limit in the composites with controlled inhomogeneity decreased significantly compared to that of the analogous nanocomposites with uniform filler distributions, and the resistivity of the filled composites decreased as a function of applied field strength, exhibiting a nonlinear I–V relationship. The nonlinearity increased with ZnO filler concentration.
LDPE Filler Particle Filler Concentration Filler Distribution Filler Volume Fraction
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We acknowledge ABB for funding this work and Nanophase Technologies Corporation for donating nanoparticles. This work was supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Number DMR-0117792.