Volume 89 (2016) Issue 2 Pages 183-191
The dispersion of carbon nanotubes is a key issue for maximizing their performance in many applications. Here we describe the design and synthesis of an efficient dispersant for the so-called “super-growth” single-walled carbon nanotubes (SG-SWNTs) to provide a stable and homogeneous dispersion in typical organic solvents simply by sonication. The synthesized dispersant is a copolymer composed of a naphthalene diimide and poly(dimethylsiloxane), and the dispersions were characterized using visible absorption, Raman, AFM, and TGA measurements as well as molecular-mechanics simulations. It was found that the copolymer efficiently dissolves the SG-SWNTs in many solvents including methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and toluene that are widely-used solvents in polymer/resin-related industrial areas.