, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1021-1028
Date: 25 Jun 2012

Synthesis and characterization of water soluble functionalized amorphous carbon nanotube-poly(vinyl alcohol) composite

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Abstract

A simple low-temperature synthesis method of amorphous carbon nanotubes (a-CNTs) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composite thin films has been reported. Initially the a-CNTs have been functionalized by acid treatment for getting better dispersion in water. The functionalized a-CNTs show much enhanced solubility in water. The microstructures of the as-prepared tubes, functionalized tubes, and PVA-a-CNTs composite have been investigated with the help of a field emission scanning electron microscope. A detailed study on the structural, optical, and thermal properties and a hardness test of the composite has revealed that a-CNTs can act as good reinforcement materials such as crystalline CNTs, when composites are made with polymers. Also, it has been shown that the sheet resistance of the PVA-a-CNTs composite monotonically decreases with increasing a-CNTs concentrations in the composites. Optical studies showed a shift in the optical gap indicating the formation of cross-linking into the host matrix. The composite shows a higher crystallinity with increased a-CNTs concentration, compared to pure PVA. The swelling test shows that due to the introduction of the carboxylic group into a-CNTs’ walls, it gradually becomes hydrophilic.