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.