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Porous carbon nanotube/polyvinylidene fluoride composite material: Superhydrophobicity/superoleophilicity and tunability of electrical conductivity
journal contributionposted on 01.10.2014, 00:00 authored by Y Yu, H Chen, Y Liu, V S J Craig, Luhua LiLuhua Li, Ying (Ian) ChenYing (Ian) Chen, A Tricoli
Porous carbon nanotube/polyvinylidene fluoride (CNT/PVDF) composite material can be fabricated via formation and freeze-drying of a gel. The field emission scanning electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption-desorption and pore size distribution analysis reveal that the introduction of a small amount of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can effectively increase the surface roughness and porosity of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Contact angle measurements of water and oil indicate that the as-obtained composite material is superhydrophobic and superoleophilic. Further experiments demonstrate that these composite material can be efficiently used to separate/absorb the insoluble oil from oil polluted water as membrane/absorbent. Most importantly, the electrical conductivity of such porous CNT/PVDF composite material can be tuned by adjusting the mass ratio of CNT to PVDF without obviously changing the superhydrophobicity or superoleophilicity. The unique properties of the porous CNT/PVDF composite material make it a promising candidate for oil-polluted water treatment as well as water-repellent catalyst-supporting electrode material.