Complex permittivity of conducting polypyrrole (PPy)-coated Nylon-Lycra textiles is measured using a free space transmission measurement technique over the frequency range of 1-18 GHz. The aging of microwave dielectric properties and reflection, transmission and absorption for a period of 18 months is demonstrated. PPy-coated fabrics are shown to be lossy over the full frequency range. The levels of absorption are shown to be higher than reflection in the tested samples. This is attributed to the relatively high resistivity of the PPy-coated fabrics. Both the dopant concentration and polymerisation time affect the total shielding effectiveness and microwave aging behaviour. Distinguishing either of these two factors as being exclusively the dominant mechanism of shielding effectiveness is shown to be difficult. It is observed that the PPy-coated Nylon-Lycra samples with a p-toluene sulfonic acid (pTSA) concentration of 0.015 M and polymerisation times of 60 min and 180 min have 37% and 26% decrease in total transmission loss, respectively, upon aging for 72 weeks at room temperature (20 °C, 65% Relative humidity (RH)). The concentration of the dopant also influences the microwave aging behaviour of the PPy-coated fabrics. The samples with a higher dopant concentration of 0.027 mol/L pTSA are shown to have a transmission loss of 32.6% and 16.5% for short and long polymerisation times, respectively, when aged for 72 weeks. The microwave properties exhibit better stability with high dopant concentration and/or longer polymerization times. High pTSA dopant concentrations and/or longer polymerisation times result in high microwave insertion loss and are more effective in reducing the transmission and also increasing the longevity of the electrical properties.
Hakansson, E., Kaynak, A., & Kouzani, A. (2016). Change in dielectric properties in the microwave frequency region of polypyrrole-coated textiles during aging. Materials, 9(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/MA9070609