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Non-covalent polymer wrapping of carbon nanotubes and the role of wrapped polymers as functional dispersants

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ABSTRACT

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been recognized as a promising material in a wide range of applications from biotechnology to energy-related devices. However, the poor solubility in aqueous and organic solvents hindered the applications of CNTs. As studies have progressed, the methodology for CNT dispersion was established. In this methodology, the key issue is to covalently or non-covalently functionalize the surfaces of the CNTs with a dispersant. Among the various types of dispersions, polymer wrapping through non-covalent interactions is attractive in terms of the stability and homogeneity of the functionalization. Recently, by taking advantage of their stability, the wrapped-polymers have been utilized to support and/or reinforce the unique functionality of the CNTs, leading to the development of high-performance devices. In this review, various polymer wrapping approaches, together with the applications of the polymer-wrapped CNTs, are summarized.

No MeSH data available.


Schematic procedure of the filtration process.
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Figure 4: Schematic procedure of the filtration process.

Mentions: For the polymer wrapping of CNTs, various interactions, including π−π, CH−π and cation−π, function to adsorb on the surfaces of the CNTs. In this chapter, the types of polymers used for the wrapping are summarized based on their structural features. One of the advantages of the polymer wrapping is the thermodynamically stable coating on the surface of the CNTs, and it is possible to remove the unbound (free) polymer while leaving the wrapping polymer on the CNT surface (figure 3, lower). Removal of the unbound polymer in the bulk solution can be carried out by (1) dialysis [56, 57], (2) a precipitation/decantation cycle [58], (3) a filtration/washing process [59–61], (4) a ultracentrifugation/decantation process [58, 62] and (5) a chromatographic separation [57]. In the case of the filtration process, it is quite simple to distinguish the stable dispersion since the nice dispersion is achieved again from the washed materials when the stable wrapping has taken place (figure 4). Note that not all the papers detail the presence of the unbound polymer in the solution, and it is highly recommended to recognize the effect of the unbound polymer even when the authors did not describe it since such polymers sometimes affect displayed data.


Non-covalent polymer wrapping of carbon nanotubes and the role of wrapped polymers as functional dispersants
Schematic procedure of the filtration process.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036478&req=5

Figure 4: Schematic procedure of the filtration process.
Mentions: For the polymer wrapping of CNTs, various interactions, including π−π, CH−π and cation−π, function to adsorb on the surfaces of the CNTs. In this chapter, the types of polymers used for the wrapping are summarized based on their structural features. One of the advantages of the polymer wrapping is the thermodynamically stable coating on the surface of the CNTs, and it is possible to remove the unbound (free) polymer while leaving the wrapping polymer on the CNT surface (figure 3, lower). Removal of the unbound polymer in the bulk solution can be carried out by (1) dialysis [56, 57], (2) a precipitation/decantation cycle [58], (3) a filtration/washing process [59–61], (4) a ultracentrifugation/decantation process [58, 62] and (5) a chromatographic separation [57]. In the case of the filtration process, it is quite simple to distinguish the stable dispersion since the nice dispersion is achieved again from the washed materials when the stable wrapping has taken place (figure 4). Note that not all the papers detail the presence of the unbound polymer in the solution, and it is highly recommended to recognize the effect of the unbound polymer even when the authors did not describe it since such polymers sometimes affect displayed data.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been recognized as a promising material in a wide range of applications from biotechnology to energy-related devices. However, the poor solubility in aqueous and organic solvents hindered the applications of CNTs. As studies have progressed, the methodology for CNT dispersion was established. In this methodology, the key issue is to covalently or non-covalently functionalize the surfaces of the CNTs with a dispersant. Among the various types of dispersions, polymer wrapping through non-covalent interactions is attractive in terms of the stability and homogeneity of the functionalization. Recently, by taking advantage of their stability, the wrapped-polymers have been utilized to support and/or reinforce the unique functionality of the CNTs, leading to the development of high-performance devices. In this review, various polymer wrapping approaches, together with the applications of the polymer-wrapped CNTs, are summarized.

No MeSH data available.