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Optimizing sonication parameters for dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes

: Yu, H.B.; Hermann, S.; Schulz, S.E.; Gessner, T.; Dong, Z.L.; Li, W.J.


Chemical physics 408 (2012), pp.11-16
ISSN: 0301-0104
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Non-covalent functionalization based on surfactants has become one of the most common methods for dispersing of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Previously, efforts have mainly been focused on experimenting with different surfactant systems, varying their concentrations and solvents. However sonication plays a very important role during the surfactant-based dispersion process for SWCNTs. The sonication treatment enables the surfactant molecules to adsorb onto the surface of SWCNTs by overcoming the interactions induced by the hydrophobic, electrostatic and van der Waals forces. This work describes a systematic study of the influence of the sonication power and time on the dispersion of SWCNTs. UV-vis-NIR absorption spectra is used to analyze and to evaluate the dispersion of SWCNTs in an aqueous solution of 1 w/v% sodium deoxycholate (DOC) showing that the resonant and nonresonant background absorption strongly depends on the sonication conditions. Furthermore, the diameter and length of SWCNTs under different sonication parameters are investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM).