Date of Award

5-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Chemistry

Advisor

Sun, Ya-Ping

Committee Member

Bhattacharyya , Gautam

Committee Member

Luzinov , Igor

Committee Member

Smith , Rhett C

Abstract

The known electrical and thermal properties of carbon nanotubes have prompted many predictions on their extraordinary potentials for ultimately performing polymeric nanocomposites. In this dissertation, chemical modification and functionalization of carbon nanotubes have been demonstrated as being effective for high-quality polymeric carbon nanotube composites, especially with our approach of using polymers that are structurally identical or maximally similar to the matrix polymers in the nanotube functionalization. For example, a poly(N-vinyl carbazole) (PVK) copolymer containing pendant hydroxyl groups was synthesized for the functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The shared solubility of the functionalized nanotube samples with PVK matrix polymer enabled the wet-casting of high-quality PVK-SWNT nanocomposite thin films for an evaluation of their enhanced charge dissipation under photo illumination.
For desired electrical properties, not only the dispersion of carbon nanotubes in the polymer matrix is important to the performance, but also the use of only metallic nanotubes may offer solutions in some of the more demanding applications. Here demonstrated is that the bulk-separated metallic SWNTs offer superior performance (consistently and substantially better than the as-produced nanotube sample) not only in conductive composites with both poly(3-hexylthiophene) and PEDOT:PSS matrixes, but also in transparent conductive coatings of neat SWNTs.

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