English Abstract

Solubilization Technologies of Carbon Nanotubes

Tomohiro SHIRAKI
Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2016),89(1),3-9 General Review in Japanese

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been central materials in the field of nanotechnology and nano-materials science due to their remarkable physical, physicochemical, thermal, mechanical and electrical properties. One of the key issues in the utilization of such seminal materials for basic researches together with the material applications is to develop a methodology to solubilize/disperse them in solvents since as-synthesized CNTs form tight bundled structures due to their strong van der Waals interaction (0.9 eV/nm) and are insoluble in many solvents. Solubilization/dispersion techniques can be categorized mainly into two methods, namely, ‘chemical’ and ‘physical’ modification. Solubilization/ dispersion of CNTs based on the physical adsorption of dispersant molecules possesses several advantages such as the ease of preparation process and maintaining the intrinsic CNT properties, which show sharp contrast with the chemical modification. In this review article, general strategies for CNT solubilization as well as the applications of solubilized CNTs are described.

Keywords: Carbon Nanotubes, Solubilization, Physical Modification, Interaction, Selective Sorting, Semiconducting, Metallic