Conductive Carbon-Nanotube/Polymer Composites: Spectroscopic Monitoring of the Exfoliation Process in Water and the Crucial Role of Wetting

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For the preparation of conductive polystyrene/SWNT nanocomposites, a recently developed, versatile, latex-based technology is applied. A low molar mass PS fraction, probably acting as a wetting agent for the SWNTs, seems to be required for an improved PS/SWNT interaction, which accordingly results in enhanced conductivity.
Another crucial step in the entire process is the ultrasound-driven exfoliation of the as produced SWNT bundles in water. By combining UV/VIS and Raman spectroscopy, the maximal attainable degree of exfoliation without seriously damaging the nanotubes could be determined. The exfoliation process was also directly visualized with cryo-TEM images, taken at several stages of the exfoliation process. These images were in agreement with the collected UV/VIS data.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2006 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: May 7, 2006
Pages: 222 - 225
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices
ISBN: 0-9767985-6-5