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Research ENTEG

ENTEG guest seminar by Prof Andrea Pucci: "Covalent and non-covalent sidewall functionalization of carbon nanotubes for sensing applications"

When:Th 16-06-2016 12:00 - 13:00

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are the third allotropic form of carbon, which have become a dominant class of nanostructured carbon-based materials with unique mechanical, electrical and thermal properties that depend critically on their structural perfection and high aspect ratio (typically >102). Single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) consist of single graphene sheets (monolayer of sp2 bonded carbon atoms) wrapped into cylindrical tubes with a diameter ranging from 0.7 to 2 nm and lengths up to micrometres. Multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) consist of concentric assemblies of SWCNTs and are therefore characterized by larger average diameters. The exceptional properties shown by SWCNTs and MWCNTs have led to an expanding number of applications including the production of strong and lightweight materials, the fabrication of electronic nano-devices and electrochemical sensors. However, the strong van der Waals interactions between individual nanotubes hinder the uniform dispersion at the nanoscale level and make their large-scale utilization problematic. Ultrasonication, as well as covalent and non-covalent functionalization methods, have proven to be highly effective for the exfoliation and dispersion of CNTs in several media and in polymer matrices. More specifically, sidewall covalent and non-covalent functionalizations have attracted considerable attention as it is highly scalable, reversible and preserves the structural integrity of the graphitic network, which is a fundamental requisite to preserve the electronic properties of CNTs.
In this lecture, the most illustrative examples of sidewall funzionalizations of CNTs will be reported as well as their effective use as resistive sensors towards external solicitations of various nature and type.