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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.

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(a) Chemical structure of poly(3-alkylthiophenes). (b) Schematics of a cross-sectional geometrical view of the polymer–SWCNT supramolecular structure. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: H W Lee et al 2011 Nat. Commun.2 541, copyright 2011.
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Figure 11: (a) Chemical structure of poly(3-alkylthiophenes). (b) Schematics of a cross-sectional geometrical view of the polymer–SWCNT supramolecular structure. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: H W Lee et al 2011 Nat. Commun.2 541, copyright 2011.

Mentions: Poly(3-alkylthiophenes), figure 11(a), such as poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), are also known to wrap CNTs and are used mostly for organic photovoltaic applications [110]. It was pointed out that not only the π−π interaction but also the sulfur atom in the backbone plays an important role for the adhesion based on MD calculations [111]. Goutam et al found that P3HT rapidly degrades in organic solvents containing dissolved molecular oxygen when irradiated with an UV light, but that was not the case for the P3HT-wrapped CNTs [112]. It was suggested that the π–π interaction between the P3HT-CNT composite improves the stability of the π-conjugation system, thereby preventing photosensitization and a reduced opportunity for the reaction of singlet oxygen with the P3HT. This enhanced stability explained the higher stability and efficiency of the P3HT/CNT devices compared with the devices composed from P3HT [113]. In this example, the function of the polymer was reinforced by the incorporation of CNTs. In 2011, Lee et al found that regioregular poly(3-alkylthiophenes) selectively disperse s-SWCNTs by a polymer wrapping mechanism (figure 11(b)) [114]. Using this technique, they fabricated high-performance transistors formed with a s-SWCNT network and observed a charge-carrier mobility as high as 12 cm2 V−1 s−1 and an on/off ratio of >106.


Non-covalent polymer wrapping of carbon nanotubes and the role of wrapped polymers as functional dispersants
(a) Chemical structure of poly(3-alkylthiophenes). (b) Schematics of a cross-sectional geometrical view of the polymer–SWCNT supramolecular structure. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: H W Lee et al 2011 Nat. Commun.2 541, copyright 2011.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 11: (a) Chemical structure of poly(3-alkylthiophenes). (b) Schematics of a cross-sectional geometrical view of the polymer–SWCNT supramolecular structure. Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: H W Lee et al 2011 Nat. Commun.2 541, copyright 2011.
Mentions: Poly(3-alkylthiophenes), figure 11(a), such as poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), are also known to wrap CNTs and are used mostly for organic photovoltaic applications [110]. It was pointed out that not only the π−π interaction but also the sulfur atom in the backbone plays an important role for the adhesion based on MD calculations [111]. Goutam et al found that P3HT rapidly degrades in organic solvents containing dissolved molecular oxygen when irradiated with an UV light, but that was not the case for the P3HT-wrapped CNTs [112]. It was suggested that the π–π interaction between the P3HT-CNT composite improves the stability of the π-conjugation system, thereby preventing photosensitization and a reduced opportunity for the reaction of singlet oxygen with the P3HT. This enhanced stability explained the higher stability and efficiency of the P3HT/CNT devices compared with the devices composed from P3HT [113]. In this example, the function of the polymer was reinforced by the incorporation of CNTs. In 2011, Lee et al found that regioregular poly(3-alkylthiophenes) selectively disperse s-SWCNTs by a polymer wrapping mechanism (figure 11(b)) [114]. Using this technique, they fabricated high-performance transistors formed with a s-SWCNT network and observed a charge-carrier mobility as high as 12 cm2 V−1 s−1 and an on/off ratio of >106.

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.