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Wednesday, 18 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology: chiral surfactants for dispersing carbon nanotubes

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A novel way to disperse carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by using amphiphilic chiral side-chain liquid crystalline oligomers (ACSLCOs) as chiral surfactants, which possess dual affinity for both CNTs and chiral liquid crystals (CLCs), is reported for the first time.

The results show that the CNTs possess excellent compatibility with the low molecular weight CLCs with the assistance of O7. Source: Franck Boston/Fotolia
The results show that the CNTs possess excellent compatibility with the low molecular weight CLCs with the assistance of O7. Source: Franck Boston/...

For the binary system consisting of CNTs and ACSLCOs, the concentration of CNTs dispersed by ACSLCOs was determined by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy combined with ultraviolet-visible-near infrared spectroscopy.

Compatibility with low molecular weight CLCs

The ability to disperse CNTs increases as the mole fraction of polycyclic conjugated structures on the chiral surfactants increases, and the concentration reaches 0.85 mg mL−1. The dispersion state of the CNTs in the composites was characterized by a FTIR imaging system, and the CNT–O7 composite demonstrated the best dispersion of CNTs. The evenly dispersed CNTs reduce the glass transition temperature and improve the thermal stability of the ACSLCOs. For the ternary system consisting of CNTs, O7 and a low molecular weight CLC, the dispersion state of the CNTs was characterised using a polarised optical microscope. The results show that the CNTs possess excellent compatibility with the low molecular weight CLCs with the assistance of O7. The dispersed CNTs are proven to have increased the chiral stability of the chiral host by the measurement of the Bragg selective reflection.

The study is published in: Polymer Chemistry, Issue 15, 2015.

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