Tapping mode atomic force microscopy (TM-AFM) and scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM) were found to be useful scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques for the characterization of surface conductivity and morphology of the conductive ceramics-like and graphene-containing nanocomposite prepared from polyaniline/montmorillonite (PANI/MMT) nanocomposite. In this work, the changes in conductivity and morphology of PANI/MMT nanocomposites before and after heat treatment are studied. PANI/MMT nanocomposite was prepared using oxidative polymerization of anilinium sulfate by ammonium peroxydisulfate in the presence of MMT particles (size fraction < 40 µm). Prepared PANI/MMT powder was pressed into tablets using pressure 400 MPa. These tablets were calcined in dynamic argon atmosphere at temperature 1400 °C for 1 hour. The changes of local current on the surface and on the fractures (i.e. in the internal volume) of tablets were studied using SSRM and the local current maps of PANI/MMT nanocomposites before and after calcination were compared. SSRM shows that while after the calcination the conductivity in the internal volume of the sample strongly increased, the conductivity on the surface disappeared. Tapping mode is characterized by a less sample-tip interaction and, therefore, with respect to the nature of prepared nanocomposites, provides images without many visible artefacts.Keywords: Polyaniline, montmorillonite, graphene, tapping mode atomic force microscopy, scanning spreading resistance microscopy
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