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Debundling, Dispersion and Stability of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes Driven by Molecularly Designed Electron Acceptors.

08:00 EDT 14th September 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Debundling, Dispersion and Stability of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes Driven by Molecularly Designed Electron Acceptors."

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted significant attention due to their outstanding physical and chemical properties, and yet, their high natural tendency to form bundles, ropes or aggregates, as a consequence of their strong pi-pi interactions, limits their solvent processing and further applications. Efficient processing solvents, mostly amide-based, that partially compensate for these strong inter-CNT pi-pi interactions have been widely reported. However, the yield of debundled/dispersed CNTs and the stability of subsequent dispersions in these solvents remain key challenges. Moreover, there are major concerns related to the large-scale use of conventional solvents, as they are fossil-fuel based and intrinsically highly toxic, hence the need to identify environmentally-friendly and safer alternatives. Herein, we address these challenges by using a ternary system composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), tailored electron-deficient acceptors and an organic solvent. Not only do the electron-deficient acceptors interrupt the inter-CNTs pi-pi interactions, thereby enabling the subsequent debundling and dispersion of MWCNTs aggregates in the solvent, they also act as stabilizers, after dispersion, by inhibiting inter-CNT pi-pi interactions and re-agglomeration. The use of electron acceptors increases the yield by a factor of 165 in N-methyl 2-pyrollidone (NMP), improves the long-term stability of the debundled and dispersed MWCNTs, and reduces the energy input to only 30 minutes of mild bath sonication, compared to prolonged high energy sonication reported in literature. We also report for the first time, the use in MWCNT processing of a "green" bio-solvent, dihydrolevoglucosenone (DHLG), as an environmentally friendly and non-toxic alternative to the more conventional amide-based solvents.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
ISSN: 1520-5827
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