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Application of the Hansen Solubility Parameters Theory to Carbon Nanotubes

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Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are very promising nano-objects due to their exceptional properties. However, their tendency to form bundles as well as their insolubility in common solvents makes them difficult to handle. The main way to solve the problem is chemical or physical CNTs functionalisations, with all the problems inherent to the methods. In this contribution, we present a new approach that allows predicting the solubility of carbon nanotubes in many solvents but also predicting the most appropriate solvents to use for given samples of CNTs. Solubilisation and dispersion being directly connected, the present approach of solubilisation proves also to be efficient in dispersing the CNTs bundles. This contribution is a first step toward the control of carbon nanotube's dispersion in polymers and their homogenous functionalisation. Moreover, we also report here a new method, based on solvents, to separate carbon nanotubes by size, the use of mixture of non-solvents in order to obtain good solvents and the use of mixture of good solvents to obtain higher solubility. The use of mixture of good solvents allowed us to obtain high solubility, up to three times higher then that reported in literature. We have also measured and analysed the solubility of some functionalised carbon nanotubes.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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