, Volume 288, Issue 9, pp 1013-1018
Date: 12 May 2010

Preparation of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) gel composites using poly(ionic liquids)

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This paper reports a new and practical route for synthesizing nanotube-polymeric ionic liquids gel by non-covalent functionalization of oxidized single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) surfaces with imidazolium-based poly(ionic liquids) (PILs), using in situ radical polymerization method. A black and homogeneous precipitate SWNTs was obtained as a gel form, which is well dispersed in aqueous solution without any aggregation. The formation of SWNT gels is explained by the electrostatic attractions or π-bonds between the SWNT surface and the PIL matrix. By anion-exchange reaction of PIL bound to SWNTs, hydrophilic anions in PIL were substituted with hydrophobic anions, resulting in an effective transfer of SWNT-PIL hydrogels to organogels. The result also showed that SWNTs can effectively improve the conductivity along with the thermal stability of nanocomposite gels.

Seung Hyun Hong and Tran Thanh Tung equally contributed to this work.