Homogenization for Dispersion and Reduction in Length of Carbon Nanotubes
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An important aspect that limits the use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is the difficulty in obtaining homogeneously dispersed CNTs of uniform length. Hence, homogenization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) was carried out using bullet blender and the dispersion behavior was compared with that of ultrasonication. 1% sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), Triton-x-100 and polyethylene glycol 4000 were used as dispersing agents during homogenization. The dispersed CNTs were studied using transmission electron microscopy, ImageJ and Raman spectroscopy. Though dispersion and reduction in length of MWCNTs were observed both with ultrasonication and homogenization, lowest length range with about 75% reduction in polydispersity index was obtained on homogenization. Longer time of ultrasonication resulted in damage to small MWCNTs. Well dispersed and shorter MWCNTs were obtained with Triton-x-100 while reduction in length was minimum with SDS. SWCNTs of less than 1 μm length could be obtained by homogenization with Triton-x-100.
KeywordsCarbon nanotubes Raman spectroscopy High resolution electron microscopy Biomedical applications Homogenization
We thank NEXT ADVANCE Inc., USA for permitting us to perform experiments using Bullet Blender. We also thank Dr. Joseph Berkmans for helping in TEM imaging.
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