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Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes Using Nitric Acid Oxidation and DBD Plasma

Authors: M. Vesali Naseh, A. A. Khodadadi, Y. Mortazavi, O. Alizadeh Sahraei, F. Pourfayaz, S. Mosadegh Sedghi


In this study, multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were modified with nitric acid chemically and by dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma in an oxygen-based atmosphere. Used carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) floating catalyst method. For removing amorphous carbon and metal catalyst, MWNTs were exposed to dry air and washed with hydrochloric acid. Heating purified CNTs under helium atmosphere caused elimination of acidic functional groups. Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) shows formation of oxygen containing groups such as C=O and COOH. Brunauer, Emmett, Teller (BET) analysis revealed that functionalization causes generation of defects on the sidewalls and opening of the ends of CNTs. Results of temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) and gas chromatography(GC) indicate that nitric acid treatment create more acidic groups than plasma treatment.

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), chemical treatment, functionalization, plasma.

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