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Issue 5, 2010
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A versatile, solvent-free methodology for the functionalisation of carbon nanotubes

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Abstract

High temperature activation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) provides a new and highly versatile functionalisation strategy. The reaction allows the attachment of a wide variety of functional species onto the nanotube surface at grafting ratios between 1–8 wt%, whilst maintaining the intrinsic properties of the untreated materials. The underlying, radical-based, reaction mechanism has been established by quenching experiments and EPR studies. The distribution of the functionalised sites has been investigated at the microscopic scale using tagging reactions. The grafted products have been characterized by electron microscopy, thermal analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, and inverse gas chromatography (IGC). The change in the CNT surface properties after grafting has been quantified in terms of dispersive and specific surface energies, and altered dispersibilities in a broad range of solvents. It is possible to carry out the reaction using gas phase reagents, providing a clean, efficient, and scalable methodology, relevant to a diverse range of applications.

Graphical abstract: A versatile, solvent-free methodology for the functionalisation of carbon nanotubes

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Apr 2010, accepted on 01 Jul 2010 and first published on 11 Aug 2010


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SC00287A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2010,1, 603-608
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    A versatile, solvent-free methodology for the functionalisation of carbon nanotubes

    R. Menzel, M. Q. Tran, A. Menner, C. W. M. Kay, A. Bismarck and M. S. P. Shaffer, Chem. Sci., 2010, 1, 603
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SC00287A

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