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Dispersion and Individualization of SWNT in Surfactant-Free Suspensions and Composites of Hydrosoluble Polymers

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journal contribution
posted on 08.01.2015, 00:00 by Fernando J. Torres-Canas, Christophe Blanc, Camilo Zamora-Ledezma, Pedro Silva, Eric Anglaret
We propose a simple and original way to prepare surfactant-free SWNT/hydrosoluble polymer composites with high concentrations of individual SWNT. We first disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) in aqueous suspensions using bile salts (BS), and we mix them with a solution of hydrosoluble polymer, poly­(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) or poly­(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). We measure the yield using visible–NIR absorption spectroscopy, and we probe both the chemical environment of the nanotubes and the effectiveness of individualization from coupled Raman/photoluminescence studies. We evidence a direct exchange of BS molecules and PVA chains at the surface of SWNT. By contrast, no direct exchange is observed with PVP. On the other hand, we show that a simple dialysis process leads to the preparation of aqueous suspensions of SWNT covered by PVP or PVA with high yields and an effective individualization of the nanotubes.