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November 7, 2013

Speaker: Dr. Alex Adronov, Department of Chemistry, McMaster University

Title: Functionalization and Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes with Conjugated Polymers – The Effect of Structure and Architecture

Abstract: Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) exhibit a number of intriguing mechanical, thermal and electronic properties that render them useful for numerous applications, ranging from molecular electronics to nano-scale construction materials. Although these numerous potential applications can have a significant impact on future technologies, the commercial exploitation of SWNTs has, thus far, been extremely limited. The highly insoluble nature of these materials is one of the major limitations to their applications, as they cannot be manipulated in solution at practical concentrations using any known solvents. We have been investigating the covalent and non-covalent functionalization of SWNTs with polymers having controlled architectures. Considering that the diverse chemistry of polymers allows for the preparation of materials that range from hydrophilic, water-soluble structures to hydrophobic, organic-soluble structures, the combination of such polymers with carbon nanotubes should result in the formation of soluble composite materials with controllable properties. The subtle impact of polymer structure, conformation and architecture on the interaction efficiency with the surface of carbon nanotubes has been the subject of intensive investigation in our laboratory. This presentation will touch upon several aspects of this work.