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Morphological Modification of MWCNT Functionalized with HNO3/H2SO4 Mixtures

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The acidic oxidation with HNO3/H2SO4 mixtures is widely reported as an effective method to functionalize multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). Although effective, a bad control of the oxidation conditions frequently cause serious modifications of carbon nanotube network, limiting further potential applications. Investigations about the effect of functionalization operating conditions on the morphological, chemical and chemical-physical properties of MWCNT can be useful for a proper setting of oxidation reactions of MWCNT according to their specific applications. In this work the effect of HNO3/H2SO4 ratio on the morphological and chemical-physical properties and on the degree of functionalization of MWCNT was investigated. Electron microscopy, thermogravimetric, X-ray diffraction, titration and water dispersion analyses clearly revealed that the increase of the amount of concentrated sulphuric acid in the HNO3/H2SO4 mixture lead to an increase of the amount of functional groups on the MWCNT surface but also to an increase of structural damage in terms of tube cutting and generation of additional defects in the graphitic network of pristine MWCNT.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-06-01

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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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