Process for making polymers comprising derivatized carbon nanotubes and compositions thereof
AuthorTour, James M.; Bahr, Jeffrey L.; Yang, Jiping
The present invention incorporates new processes for blending derivatized carbon nanotubes into polymer matrices to create new polymer/composite materials. When modified with suitable chemical groups using diazonium chemistry, the nanotubes can be made chemically compatible with a polymer matrix, allowing transfer of the properties of the nanotubes (such as mechanical strength) to the properties of the composite material as a whole. To achieve this, the derivatized (modified) carbon nanotubes are physically blended with the polymeric material, and/or, if desired, allowed to react at ambient or elevated temperature. These methods can be utilized to append functionalities to the nanotubes that will further covalently bond to the host polymer matrix, or directly between two tubes themselves. Furthermore, the nanotubes can be used as a generator of polymer growth, wherein the nanotubes are derivatized with a functional group that is an active part of a polymerization process, which would also result in a composite material in which the carbon nanotubes are chemically involved.
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