Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.529, 187-196, 2018
Electrostatic stabilization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes dispersed in nonaqueous media
Dispersing carbon nanotubes is an easy and low-cost way to manipulate these solids and allows the preparation of more complex materials or devices, so it is fundamental for further uses that these dispersions have controlled properties and high colloidal stability. In this work we report the spontaneous electrical charge build-up in pristine multi-walled carbon nanotubes dispersed in common organic solvents such as chloroform and tetrahydrofuran and the achievement of dispersions stable for long periods without adding passivant agents or functional groups on nanotubes surface. Results from electrokinetics, homo- and heterocoagulation provided macroscopic evidences that carbon nanotubes acquire electric charges after dispersion in some organic liquids and we confirmed this process by measuring in situ Raman spectra of the nanotubes dispersions with higher surface electric potentials. We also show that the signal of electric potential of the dispersions can be predicted by the acid-base behaviour of the dispersing medium, corroborating previously reports for other dispersions of carbon nanomaterials. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.