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Pyrrole-based poly(ionic liquids) as efficient stabilizers for formation of hollow MWCNT particles

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Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) with an intrinsically conducting pyrrole polymer (ICP) backbone were synthesized and utilized as novel dispersants of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in various polar and nonpolar solvents. This is

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) with an intrinsically conducting pyrrole polymer (ICP) backbone were synthesized and utilized as novel dispersants of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in various polar and nonpolar solvents. This is due to their highly tunable nature, in which the anions can be easily exchanged to form PILs of varying polarity but with the same polycation. These CNT dispersions were exceedingly stable over many months, and with the addition of hexane, Pickering emulsions with the PIL-stabilized CNTs at the droplet interfaces were formed. Depending on the hydrophobicity of the PIL, hexane-in-water and hexane-in-acetonitrile emulsions were formed, the latter marking the first non-aqueous stabilized-CNT emulsions and corresponding CNT-in-acetonitrile dispersion, further advancing the processability of CNTs. The PIL-stabilized CNT Pickering emulsion droplets generated hollow conductive particles by subsequent drying of the emulsions. With the emulsion templating, the hollow shells can be used as a payload carrier, depending on the solubility of the payload in the droplet phase of the emulsion. This was demonstrated with silicon nanoparticles, which have limited solubility in aqueous environments, but great scientific interest due to their potential electrochemical applications. Overall, this work explored a new class of efficient PIL-ICP hybrid stabilizers with tunable hydrophobicity, offering extended stability of carbon nanotube dispersions with novel applications in hollow particle formation via Pickering emulsion templating and in placing payloads into the shells.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12