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Issue 33, 2010
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Carbon nanotube reinforced supramolecular gels with electrically conducting, viscoelastic and near-infrared sensitive properties

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Abstract

Pristine and long-chain functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were incorporated successfully in supramolecular organogels formed by an all-trans tri(p-phenylenevinylene) bis-aldoxime to give rise to new nanocomposites with interesting mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. Variable-temperature UV-vis and fluorescence spectra reveal both pristine and functionalized SWNTs promote aggregation of the gelator molecules and result in quenching of the UV-vis and fluorescence intensity. Electron microscopy and confocal microscopy show the existence of a densely packed and directionally aligned fibrous network in the resulting nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of the composites shows that incorporation of SWNTs increases the gel formation temperature. The DSC of the xerogels of 1SWNT composites indicates formation of different thermotropic mesophases which is also evident from polarized optical microscopy. The reinforced aggregation of the gelators on SWNT doping was reflected in the mechanical properties of the composites. Rheology of the composites demonstrates the formation of a rigid and viscoelastic solid-like assembly on SWNT incorporation. The composites from gel–SWNTs were found to be semiconducting in nature and showed enhanced electrical conductivity compared to that of the native organogel. Upon irradiation with a near IR laser at 1064 nm for 5 min it was possible to selectively induce a gel-to-sol phase transition of the nanocomposites, while irradiation for even 30 min of the native organogel under identical conditions did not cause any gel-to-sol conversion.

Graphical abstract: Carbon nanotube reinforced supramolecular gels with electrically conducting, viscoelastic and near-infrared sensitive properties

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Feb 2010
Accepted
30 Apr 2010
First published
12 Jul 2010

J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 6881-6890
Article type
Paper

Carbon nanotube reinforced supramolecular gels with electrically conducting, viscoelastic and near-infrared sensitive properties

S. K. Samanta, A. Pal, S. Bhattacharya and C. N. R. Rao, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 6881
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM00491J

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