Grafting of Polystyrene on Nitrogen-Doped Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Abstract:Polymer grafting of polystyrene (PS) on nitrogen-doped multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNx) was successfully obtained by a "grafting from" technique. The production method involves the immobilization of initiators, using wet chemistry, onto the nanotube surface, followed by an in situ surface-initiated polymerization. The polymer-grafting carbon nanotubes synthesis includes the free radical functionalization of CNx and the "controlled/living" Nitroxide Mediated Radical Polymerization (NMRP). The obtained products were studied using several microscopic techniques as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The characterization also includes thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and electron spin resonance (ESR), among others. The analyzed samples were also compared with solutions fabricated by physical blending of the polymer and CNx nanotubes. These results indicate that the nanotube radical functionalization, the chemical grafting, and the polymerization reaction were obtained over CNx when NMRP method was successfully used, giving rise to a uniform PS layer of several nanometers grafted on the outer surface of the CNx nanotubes. Several properties of the PS-grafted CNx nanotubes were also studied. It is shown that the production method leads to a narrower distribution of the external diameters. Moreover, their solubilization in organic solvents is greatly improved. Finally, the dispersion of PS-grafted CNx into a PS matrix is studied to determine the differences in filler dispersion and interfacial adhesion strength, in comparison with nanocomposites elaborated with as-produced CNx.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2007
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