Imidazolium‐based stabilization of aqueous multiwall carbon nanotube dispersions

Document Type


Publication Date



Engineering Technology

Publication Title

Journal of Surfactants and Detergents


Imidazolium bromide, an ionic liquid surfactant acrylate, as well as its homopolymer and various copolymers are demonstrated to be superior dispersing aids for preparing aqueous multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) dispersions. We demonstrate apparent complete exfoliation in water with extinction coefficients at 500 nm of about 60 cm2 mg−1 of MWCNT dispersed, a new lower bound and the highest reported extinction to date. The efficacy or efficiency of dispersion (activated by ultrasonication) is examined in terms of a quotient of extinction and weight ratio of the active monomer and MWCNT. A rank ordering of the results obtained for seven stabilizers based on the same imidazolium bromide monomer provides insights into roles of π-overlap adsorption onto MWCNT surfaces and how hydrogel properties of some of these polymers provide stability in water at higher concentrations than previously considered feasible for surfactant-stabilized and polymer-stabilized MWCNT dispersions. Simple nanocomposite film formation is demonstrated by casting and thermal diffusivity and electrical conductivity properties are examined.

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