Sonochemical Oxidation of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes


Functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is important for enhancing deposition of metal nanoparticles in the fabrication of supported catalysts. A facile approach for oxidizing CNTs is presented using a sonochemical method to promote the density of surface functional groups. This was successfully employed in a previous study [J. Phys. Chem. B 2004, 108, 19255] to prepare highly dispersed, high-loading Pt nanoparticles on CNTs as fuel cell catalysts. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and settling speeds were used to characterize the degree of surface functionalization and coverage. The sonochemical method effectively functionalized the CNTs. A mixture of -C-O-/-C=O and -COO- was observed along with evidence for weakly bound CO at longer treatment times. The integrated XPS C 1s core level peak area ratios of the oxidized-to-graphitic C oxidation states, as well as the atom % oxygen from the O 1s level, showed an increase in peak intensity (attributed to -COx) with increased sonication times from 1 to 8 h; the increase in C surface oxidation correlated well with the measured atom %. Most of the CNT surface oxidation occurred between 1 and 2 h. The sonochemically treated CNTs were also studied by cyclic voltammetry and settling experiments, and the results were consistent with the XPS observations.




Missouri Research Board
Missouri State University
Petroleum Research Fund

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