Publication Details

Rashid, M., Pham, S. Q. T., Sweetman, L. J., Alcock, L. J., Wise, A., Nghiem, L. D., Triani, G., in het Panhuis, M. & Ralph, S. F. (2014). Synthesis, properties, water and solute permeability of MWNT buckypapers. Journal of Membrane Science, 456 175-184.


High power tip sonication was used to prepare dispersions containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), or multi-walled carbon nanotubes functionalised with carboxylic acid groups (MWNT-COOH) or amine groups (MWNT-NH2). The dispersion of carbon nanotubes was facilitated by the presence of a surfactant (Triton X-100) or various macrocyclic ligands (derivatised porphyrin, phthalocyanine or calixarene) in the solution. Vacuum filtration of the dispersions afforded self-supporting membranes known as buckypapers. Microanalysis provided evidence for retention of the surfactant or macrocyclic ligands in the buckypapers, which were also characterised by measurement of their electrical conductivities (24±16 to 58±11 S/cm), contact angles (28±1° to 55±10°) and mechanical properties (tensile strengths varied between 1.6±0.7 and 13±2 MPa). The surface and internal morphologies of the buckypapers were similar to each other, which correlates with the lack of variation observed in their permeability's towards water. The ability of selected buckypapers to remove trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) was also examined. A buckypaper prepared using Triton X-100 as the dispersant showed more than 80% removal efficiency for 11 out of the 12 TrOCs investigated in this study. On the other hand, a buckypaper prepared from MWNTs and phthalocyaninetetrasulfonic acid exhibited lower removal efficiencies for these TrOCs, possibly due to their smaller specific surface area.

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