Main content area

Dispersing Carbon Nanotubes by Chiral Network Surfactants

Lin, Pengcheng, Cong, Yuehua, Zhang, Baoyan
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.12 pp. 6724-6732
carbon nanotubes, color, dispersibility, dispersions, glass transition temperature, image analysis, liquid crystals, spectroscopy, surfactants, thermal stability
Chiral network surfactants (CNSs) possessing miscibility with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and chiral materials are applied to disperse CNTs. Ultraviolet–visible absorption spectroscopy is used to quantitatively determine the CNT concentration in homogeneous CNT–CNS dispersions, results indicate that CNSs with more mole fraction of polycyclic conjugated structure have better ability to load and disperse CNTs and the maximal concentration reaches 0.79 mg mL–¹. Fourier transform infrared imaging system is utilized to analyze the dispersibility of CNTs in CNT–CNS composites, and CNS with 6 mol % nonmesogens (S6) induces the best dispersibility. The CNT doped CNSs exhibit lower glass transition temperature, strengthened thermal stability, decreased the thermochromic temperature and enriched reflected colors of CNSs. Furthermore, S6 are used as a promoter to disperse CNTs in chiral host, here, a left-handed chiral liquid crystal (CLC) is selected, the miscibility between CNTs and CLCs is studied by polarized optical microscope, and CNTs can be effectively dispersed in CLCs by S6. The CNT dispersed CLCs can exhibit a faster electro-optical response process than neat CLCs.