Knowledge of percolation in binary composites is critical to the development of new materials with specific electrical and optical properties. This report investigates the detection of percolation in novel two-phase composites consisting of poly(methyl) methacrylate(PMMA) and indium tin oxide (ITO). ITO is a filler of particular interest primarily for possessing optical clarity consistent with PMMA in the visible light range. AC impedance measurements were performed on specimens with varying concentrations of ITO particles to determine the percolation threshold. Percolation was observed when specimens contained 2–3% vol. of nano-sized ITO and 6%-8% vol. of coarse-sized ITO. Thus, the percolation threshold appeared significantly decreased with reduced particle size of the filler. It is speculated that minor agglomerates in the bulk of the specimens may have prevented percolation from occurring at even lower volume fractions of the filler phase.
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The authors would like to thank the National Science Foundation for research funding under grant DMR-0076153. One of the authors (CJC) also acknowledges support from the NSF-SURF program at Georgia Tech during summer 2003.
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Capozzi, C.J., Shackelford, S., Ou, R. et al. Study of Percolation in PMMA / Indium Tin Oxide Composites. MRS Online Proceedings Library 819, 313 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-819-N3.13