Applied Surface Science, Vol.252, No.22, 7987-7992, 2006
Effect of PVA functionalization on hydrophilicity of Y-junction single wall carbon nanotubes
Hydrophilic surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are of great interest for various applications including chemical and biological sensing. Surface functionalization of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) mats with a biocompatible polymer polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was studied. PVA modification induced a drastic change in water wettability of the SWNT surface transforming it from hydrophobic to highly hydrophilic. These PVA modified SWNTs mats have also demonstrated increasing impedance variation in relative humidity compared to the pristine nanotubes. An appreciable change in conductivity of Y-junction SWNT mats as a function of relative humidity indicates its potential application as humidity sensor. This higher sensitivity for humidity variation shown in Y-junction SWNT mats could be attributed to the greater portion of semiconducting nanotubes in these mats revealed by Raman analysis. A possible conductance changing mechanism of surface modified SWNTs mats is discussed. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.