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Preparation and characterization of perfluorooctane sulfonate-intercalated single-walled carbon nanotube ropes and clay-composites

Bastola, Krishna Prasad
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of the first project was to study the anionic intercalation reactions of single walled carbon nanotubes with perfluorooctane sulfonate, and the dispersion of intercalated single walled carbon nanotubes in different solvents without sonication. Intercalation reactions of Single walled carbon nanotubes. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) intercalation compounds were prepared by stirring the mixtures of SWNTS, oxidant (K2MnF6), and intercalants (potassium perfluorooctane sulfonate) in 48% aqueous HF at room temperature and atmospheric pressure for 72 hours. The objective of the second project was to study the mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of epoxy composites containing different weight percentages of silylated and pristine clays. Clays were dispersed in the polymer matrix by a mechanical stirrer at 80 °C for a period of 24 hours. Physical and mechanical properties of clays composites were characterized by UTM, DMA, DSC, and TGA Instruments.
Findings and Conclusions: For the first time, the chemical method of intercalation of SWNT with large anion is demonstrated. Raman, AFM, and TEM results clearly demonstrate that the morphology of the single wall carbon nanotubes is not altered by intercalation reaction. Intercalated SWNT (SWNT-IC) is dispersible in deionized water without sonication. TEM image TEM images of dispersed SWNT-IC demonstrated the presence of individual tubes.
The Mechanical properties of pristine clays composites were improved when compared to the neat epoxy. Silylated clays composites had lower mechanical properties than pristine clays. This was attributed to the poor dispersion of large size particles of silylated clays in the polymer matrix. Optimal mechanical properties of composites were obtained with 2 wt% clay loading.