Polymer binding to carbon nanotubes in aqueous dispersions: residence time on the nanotube surface as obtained by NMR diffusometry. Academic Article uri icon


  • The binding of block copolymer Pluronic F-127 in aqueous dispersions of single- (SWCNT) and multiwalled (MWCNT) carbon nanotubes has been studied by pulsed-field-gradient (PFG) 1H NMR spectroscopy. We show that a major fraction of polymers exist as a free species while a minor fraction is bound to the carbon nanotubes (CNT). The polymers exchange between these two states with residence times on the nanotube surface of 24 ± 5 ms for SWCNT and of 54 ± 11 ms for MWCNT. The CNT concentration in the solution was determined by improved thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) indicating that the concentration of SWCNT dispersed by F-127 was significantly higher than that for MWCNT. For SWCNT, the area per adsorbed Pluronic F-127 molecule is estimated to be about 40 nm2.

publication date

  • March 8, 2012