English Abstract

Dispersion and Functionalization of Boron Nitride Nanotubes in Aqueous Solution

Toshiki SAWADA *1
Yoshio BANDO *2
Dmitri GOLBERG *2
Takeshi SERIZAWA *1
*1:Department of Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
*2:International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2015),88(11),447-453 General Review in Japanese

One-dimensional inorganic nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are of intense scientific and technological interest due to their excellent physiochemical properties and potential applications. Because of strong van der Waals interactions and hydrophobic effects between sidewalls of the nanotubes, pristine nanotubes generally form bundled structures. This makes inorganic nanotubes difficult to incorporate into materials where individual nanotubes are required without damaging their properties. Inspired by recent successful isolation followed by functionalization of CNTs through various methods, dispersion of BNNTs towards applications has been developed via covalent and noncovalent approaches. Especially, wrapping of BNNTs by water-soluble synthetic polymers and biomolecules through weak interactions resulted in well dispersed BNNTs in aqueous solution without any changes in original physicochemical properties for biomedical applications. The nanohybrids composed of BNNTs and the polymers/biomolecules will open attractive opportunities for nanoscience and nanotechnology for next-generation hybrid materials.

Keywords: Boron Nitride Nanotube, Nanomaterial, Dispersion, Synthetic Polymer, Biomolecule