Polymer, Vol.46, No.14, 5050-5057, 2005
Polymer adsorption in the grafting reactions of hydroxyl terminal polymers with multi-walled carbon nanotubes
Melt stirring of non-functional polymers such as poly(ethylene oxide) dimethylether (PEO-Me) and polystyrene (PS-H) with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in the absence of solvent for 48 h induced a substantial amount of polymer adsorption on the MWNTs. The chloroform extraction of the reaction products using centrifugation yielded black colored solutions exhibiting UV absorbance corresponding to the presence of MWNTs. The adsorption of polymer was confirmed on the surfaces of solvent washed residual and recovered MWNTs from the reactions using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and FT-IR spectroscopy. Covalent grafting reactions carried out using hydroxyl-terminated PEO-OH and PS-OH with acid chloride containing MWNTs under identical melt stirring condition produced similar results. The presence of polymer on the residual and recovered MWNTs irrespective of the nature of the terminal groups indicates that the adsorption of polymers poses a problem in accurately determining the grafting efficiency. FT IR spectra of the PEO-g-MWNTs shows a substantial shift in CH stretching vibrations indicating a plausible weak intermolecular interaction with pi electrons of the MWNTs. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.