In this paper, we demonstrate the fabrication of conductive porous polymers based on foaming of an aqueous dispersion of polymeric particles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT). By tuning the surface energy of the constituents, we direct their preferential adsorption at the air-liquid (bubble) interface or within the liquid film between the bubbles. Sintering this bi-constituent foam yields solid closed-cell porous structure which can be electrically conductive if CNT are able to form a conductive path. We measure transport (electrical and thermal), mechanical, and morphological properties of such porous structures as a function of CNT loading and the method used for their surface functionalization. For a fixed polymer volume fraction, we demonstrate the limit in which increasing CNT results in decreasing the mechanical strength of the sample due to lack of adequate polymer-CNT bond. Such lightweight conductive porous composites are considered in applications including EMI shielding, electrostatic discharge protection, and electrets.
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