An improved understanding of the dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in non-aqueous solvents

Li, Quanxiang, Church, Jeffrey S., Kafi, Abdullah, Naebe, Minoo and Fox, Bronwyn L. 2014, An improved understanding of the dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in non-aqueous solvents, Journal of nanoparticle research, vol. 16, no. 7, Article Number : 2513, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1007/s11051-014-2513-0.

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Title An improved understanding of the dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in non-aqueous solvents
Author(s) Li, Quanxiang
Church, Jeffrey S.
Kafi, Abdullah
Naebe, MinooORCID iD for Naebe, Minoo
Fox, Bronwyn L.
Journal name Journal of nanoparticle research
Volume number 16
Issue number 7
Season Article Number : 2513
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1388-0764
Keyword(s) Centrifugation
Multi-walled CNTs
Non-aqueous dispersion
Surfactant assisted
Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Materials Science, Multidisciplinary
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Materials Science
Summary The homogeneous and stable dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in solvents is often a prerequisite for their use in advanced materials. Dispersion procedures, reagent concentration as well as the interactions among reagent, defective CNTs and near-perfect CNTs will affect the resulting CNT dispersion properties. This study, for the first time, presents a detailed comparison between two different approaches for dispersing CNTs. The results enhance our understanding of the interactions between surfactant, defective CNTs and near-perfect CNTs and thus provide insight into the mechanism of CNT dispersion. Dispersions of "as-produced" short multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in N,N-dimethylformamide were prepared by two different surfactant (Triton X-100) assisted methods: ultrasonication and ultrasonication followed by centrifugation, decanting the supernatant and redispersing the precipitate. Visual observation and UV-visible spectroscopy results showed that the latter method produce a more stable dispersion with higher MWCNT content compared to dispersions produced by ultrasonication alone. Transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopic investigations revealed that the centrifugation/ decanting step removed highly defective nanotubes, amorphous carbon and excess surfactant from the readily re-dispersible near-perfect CNT precipitate. This is contrary to other published findings where the dispersed MWCNTs were found in the supernatant. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that 95 % of Triton X-100 was removed by centrifugation/decanting step, and the remainder of the Triton X-100 molecules is likely randomly adsorbed onto the MWCNT surface. Infrared spectral analysis suggests that the methylene groups of the polyoxyethylene (aliphatic ether) chains of the residual Triton X-100 molecules are interacting with the MWCNTs. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11051-014-2513-0
Field of Research 100708 Nanomaterials
Socio Economic Objective 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Springer
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Institute for Frontier Materials
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