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Purification method of carbon nanotubes by selective oxidation

SWNT were synthesized by arc-discharge methods. The as produced material was treated by different procedures in order to get purified materials. As it was measured on buckypapers the treatment indeed led to higher conductivity values and therefore can be named as purification. The SWNT were incorporated into a polymer matrix of polycarbonate by melt mixing using a small-scale compunder at 280 Grad Celsius, 50 rpm, and 15 min. The as produced SWNT material led to electrical percolation between 2 and 3-wt%. Unexpectedly, the composites with the treated SWNT showed higher percolation concentrations. This finding is in contradiction to theoretical expectations and the values found for the buckypapers.In addition, an increase in percolation concentration was also found when using a similiar treatment on SWNT produced by HIPco method (CNI). These results imply that increasing the purity of SWNT does not lead automatically to lower percolation contents when dispersing SWNT in a molton polymer by shear mixing.

There is another property, which can be named as "dispersability". During the purification the interactions between SWNT bundles can be increased, thus leading to a more agglomerated SWNT material, which is more difficult to disperge during the melt mixing procedure.

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