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The Effect of pH on the Functionalization of Nylon Fabric with Carbon Nanotubes

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Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were dispersed in water and attached to nylon fabrics by a dip-drying procedure; scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy suggest the attachment of the SWCNTs. The electrical resistance of the functionalized fabrics is found to be pH-dependent, which is correlated with the quantity of SWCNTs dispersed in water at different values of pH. This can be further ascribed to the influence of the pK a of the acid (e.g., acetic acid in this study) used to tune pH. The acid may affect the dispersion of SWCNTs through two different mechanisms: (1) the free protons may protonate the amine and/or sulfonate group in the dye molecules, resulting in a variety of interactions among the dye molecules, SWCNTs and water molecules and (2) the resulting ions may increase the ionic strength of the solution, compressing the electric double layers of SWCNT colloids and thus impairing their stability. The former possibility is ruled out by data obtained using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and ultraviolet–visible-near infrared spectroscopy; thus the latter is proposed to account for the experimental results. The colour strength of the functionalized fabrics increases with increasing pH, which is in agreement with their measured electrical properties.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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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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