Preliminary Investigations into the Purification and Functionalization of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes
G. Trykowskia, S. Biniaka, L. Stobinskib, c and B. Lesiakc
aDepartment of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 7, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
bDepartment of Materials Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Wołoska 141, 02-507 Warsaw, Poland
cInstitute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw, Poland
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The purification and functionalization of commercial multiwall carbon nanotubes was investigated. Carbon nanotubes (CNT CO., Ltd, Korea) were treated with boiling concentrated HNO3 under a reflux condenser for about 50 h at 120°C in order to purify and oxidize the raw material. The oxidized multiwall carbon nanotubes were rinsed with deionized water until stabilization of the filtrate pH. Measurement techniques included elemental analysis (CHN), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Fourier transform: infrared spectroscopy and thermal analysis. With the measurement techniques used the following information was obtained: CHN analysis provided information about the quantitative composition of the following elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, scanning electron microscopy imaging provided information on shape, thickness and length of the nanotubes, energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry analysis of information about surface atomic composition of the quantitative analysis, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry quantitative analysis of the atomic composition (metals, especially Fe, Al), the Fourier transform infrared studies provided information about qualitative analysis of surface functional groups CxOyHz (COOH, OH, COO) and thermal gravimetric-differential thermal analysis - quantitative analysis of thermal decomposition products. It was found that oxidation leads to the removal of amorphous carbon and forms mainly carboxylic functional groups linked to the nanotubes. The Fourier transform infrared spectra indicate the presence of some other structures, like ketone (quinone), acid anhydride, ether and epoxy groups. Nitric acid treatment also effectively removes aluminum oxide catalyst and iron catalyst from commercial multiwall carbon nanotubes.
DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.118.515
PACS numbers: 61.48.De, 81.16.Be, 07.57.Ty, 82.80-d, 68.37.Hk