A nanocomposite carbon was prepared by grafting a carbonizable polymer, poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA), to a single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT). The SWNT was first functionalized with arylsulfonic acid groups on the sidewall via a method using a diazonium reagent. Both Raman and FTIR spectroscopies were used to identify the functional groups on the nanotube surface. HRTEM imaging shows that the SWNT bundles are exfoliated after functionalization. Once this state of the SWNTs was accomplished, the PFA-functionalized SWNT (PFA-SWNT) was prepared by in situ polymerization of furfuryl alcohol (FA). The sulfonic acid groups on the surface of the SWNT acted as a catalyst for FA polymerization, and the resulting PFA then grafted to the SWNTs. The surfaces of the SWNTs converted from hydrophilic to hydrophobic when they were wrapped with PFA. The formation of the polymer and the attraction between it and the sulfonic acid groups were confirmed by IR spectra. A nanocomposite carbon was generated by heating the PFA-SWNT in argon at 600 °C, a process during which the PFA was transformed to nanoporous carbon (NPC) and the sulfonic acid groups were cleaved from the SWNT. Based upon the Raman spectra and HRTEM images of the composite, it is concluded that SWNTs survive this process and a continuous phase is formed between the NPC and the SWNT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry