American Chemical Society
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Influence of Surface Oxidation on the Aggregation and Deposition Kinetics of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes in Monovalent and Divalent Electrolytes

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-04-05, 00:00 authored by Peng Yi, Kai Loon Chen
The aggregation and deposition kinetics of two multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) with different degrees of surface oxidation are investigated using time-resolved dynamic light scattering (DLS) and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), respectively. Carboxyl groups are determined to be the predominant oxygen-containing surface functional groups for both MWNTs through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The aggregation and deposition behavior of both MWNTs is in qualitative agreement with the Derjaguin−Landau−Verwey−Overbeek (DLVO) theory. The critical coagulation concentration (CCC) of the highly oxidized MWNTs (HO-MWNTs) is significantly higher than the lowly oxidized MWNTs (LO-MWNTs) in the presence of NaCl (210 and 53 mM, respectively) since HO-MWNTs have a higher surface charge density. In contrast, the aggregation inverse stability profiles of HO-MWNTs and LO-MWNTs are identical and yield comparable CCCs (0.9 and 1.0 mM, respectively) in the presence of CaCl2. Similar to the results obtained from the aggregation study, HO-MWNTs are considerably more stable to deposition on silica surfaces compared to LO-MWNTs in the presence of NaCl. However, both MWNTs have the same propensity to undergo deposition in the presence of CaCl2. The remarkable similarity in the aggregation and deposition kinetics of HO-MWNTs and LO-MWNTs in CaCl2 may be due to Ca2+ cations having a higher affinity to form complexes with adjacent carboxyl groups on HO-MWNTs than with isolated carboxyl groups on LO-MWNTs.