The Mechanism of Surfactant Assisted Dispersion of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Polyvinylpyrrolidone Solutions
Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are an extremely attractive material due to their unmatched electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties, however; their hydrophobicity results in strong van der Waals interactions. This, combined with extremely high aspect ratios and flexibility, causes SWNTs to adhere strongly into tightly bundled ropes. In these bundles, SWNTs are not as useful as their linearized unbundled equivalents. In this contribution, the characterization of a system containing SWNTS, centrimonium bromide (CTAB) and the polymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is reported. Results indicate that although individually CTAB and PVP are poor dispersants of SWNTs, together they show a synergic effect. Characterizations studies on the obtained SWNT dispersions suggest that the polymer hydrodynamic radius should have a minimum length that corresponds to intertube separation distance to achieve stable nanotube dispersions and that the effective polymer contact area with the suspended nanotube, rather than the polymer molecular weight regulates ability for SWNT dispersion. The results present a series of considerations that are relevant for the use of polymers as nanotube dispersing agents and an overall facile way of augmenting current dispersion techniques, potentially allowing for increased usage of applications of these versatile materials.
Jose Efrain Herrera,
The Mechanism of Surfactant Assisted Dispersion of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Polyvinylpyrrolidone Solutions, Colloid and Surface Science.
Vol. 2, No. 3,
2017, pp. 96-106.
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