Conductive Polymer nanoComposites (CPC) can be considered as Smart Plastics as a consequence of their high sensitivity to several kinds of external solicitations as temperature, strain & solvent vapours or liquids. CPC are already used in many applications of building industry (self-limiting heating cables) or microelectronic (e-noses, sensors, micro-heaters, FET, MEMS) … Our current objective is to extend their use in different areas as textiles and composites fields.
CPC are obtained from the controlled dispersion of conductive nanofillers (carbon or metal) into polymer matrices. Different routes are used to build hierarchical conductive networks that will have reproducible and tuneable properties especially concerning sensing. Depending on the nature of the liquid dispersing media, solution or melt, a set a strategies are developed to control the multi-scale structuring: specific interactions, exclusion volume, multiple percolation…The understanding of the different phenomena taking place in CPC when submitted to external solicitations (piezo, chemo & thermo-electrical behaviours) is really important to be able to interpret the responses of CPC sensors and guaranty their proper use.