Supervisors: Prof. Andrea Pucci (Unipi); Dott. Riccardo Rausa (Eni S.p.A.)
Title: New surfactants for water and organic nanostructures dispersions for high performance applications
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a third allotropic form of carbon which represent a dominant class of nanostructured materials whose unique mechanical, electrical and thermal properties 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 micrometers. 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 support their use for a variety of applications, ranging from additives for strong and lightweight materials to nanometer-sized electronic devices and electrochemical sensors. Nevertheless, their large-scale utilization is questionable due to the strong van der Waals interactions between individual nanotubes, which hinder a uniform dispersion at the nanoscale level. Ultrasonication, covalent and non-covalent functionalization of CNTs have proven to be highly effective in their exfoliation and dispersion in several media and polymer matrices. This work is focused on the development of new surfactants for covalent and non-covalent functionalization in collaboration with the Eni R&D laboratories in San Donato Milanese.
T. Biver, F. Criscitiello, F. Di Francesco, M. Minichino, T. Swager, A. Pucci, MWCNT/perylene bisimide water dispersions for miniaturized temperature sensors, RSC Advances, 5 (2015) 65023-65029.
Oral communications at congress:
Dispersioni di MWCNT per la realizzazione di sensori di temperatura miniaturizzati - XXI Convegno dell'Associazione Italiana di Scienza e Tecnologia delle Macromolecole – Torino 2014 (Winner of Macrogiovani 2014 prize)
A spectroscopic study on MWCNT dispersed by a fluorescent dye – Year of Light Congress – Pisa 2015
Poster communications at congress:
Non-covalently functionalized MWCNTs for the preparation of miniaturized temperature sensors – EPF 2015 – Dresden 2015