Dispersion of carbon nanotubes and polymer nanocomposite fabrication using trifluoroacetic acid as a co-solvent
Abbreviated Journal Title
PHOTOVOLTAIC DEVICES; THIN-FILMS; ELECTRICAL-PROPERTIES; CONJUGATED; POLYMERS; EPOXY COMPOSITES; SINGLE; PURIFICATION; SEPARATION; SOLUBILIZATION; CONDUCTIVITY; Nanoscience & Nanotechnology; Materials Science, Multidisciplinary; Physics, Applied
We herein report the dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) using trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) as a co-solvent. TFA is a strong but volatile acid which is miscible with many commonly used organic solvents. Our study demonstrates that MWCNTs can be effectively purified and readily dispersed in a range of organic solvents including dimethyl formamide (DMF), tetrahydrofuran (THF), and dichloromethane when mixed with 10 vol.% trifluoroacetic acid (TFA). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analysis revealed that the chemical structure of the TFA-treated MWCNTs remained intact without oxidation. The dispersed carbon nanotubes in TFA/ THF solution were mixed with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) to fabricate polymer nanocomposites. A good dispersion of nanotubes in solution and in polymer matrices was observed and confirmed by SEM, optical microscopy, and light transmittance study. Low percolation thresholds of electrical conductivity were observed from the fabricated MWCNT/ PMMA composite films. Further enhancement in the dispersion of MWCNTs was achieved by adding a conjugated conducting polymer, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), to the dispersion, wherein TFA also serves as a doping agent to the conducting polymer. The ternary nanocomposite MWCNT/ P3HT/ PMMA exhibited an extremely low percolation threshold of less than 0.006 wt% of MWCNT content. This low percolation threshold is attributed to a good dispersion of MWCNTs and enhanced conductivity of the nanocomposites by conjugated conducting polymer.
"Dispersion of carbon nanotubes and polymer nanocomposite fabrication using trifluoroacetic acid as a co-solvent" (2007). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 6932.