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Grafting Polymers to Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes

Jiang, Xiaoming
In order to prepare stable single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) solutions, we use in situ free radical polymerization to attach polymer chains to the SWNT. Under sonication, those polymer chains help break big bundles of SWNT into small bundles and make stable black solutions. We prepared stable dispersed samples such as polystyrene-SWNT in DMF, poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-SWNT in DMF, copolymer-SWNT in DMF, and poly(sodium acrylate)-SWNT by in situ free radical polymerization. AFM images show that the big bundles of SWNT were broken into small bundles. Raman spectra confirmed the covalent bond between the polymer chains and SWNT. The layer-by-layer film will be fabricated from two oppositely charged polyelectrolyte functionalized SWNT. We expect the tensile strength of the film would exceed 220 MPa.