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Liquid Crystalline Behaviors of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in an Aqueous Sodium Cholate Dispersion

  • Keiko Kojima
    Keiko Kojima
    Department of Chemistry, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8577, Japan
    Nano Carbon Device Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
    More by Keiko Kojima
  • Miho Aizawa
    Miho Aizawa
    Research Institute for Sustainable Chemistry, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan
    More by Miho Aizawa
  • Takahiro Yamamoto
    Takahiro Yamamoto
    Research Institute for Sustainable Chemistry, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan
  • Shun Muroga
    Shun Muroga
    Nano Carbon Device Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
    More by Shun Muroga
  • Kazufumi Kobashi
    Kazufumi Kobashi
    Nano Carbon Device Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
  • , and 
  • Toshiya Okazaki*
    Toshiya Okazaki
    Department of Chemistry, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8577, Japan
    Nano Carbon Device Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
    *Email: [email protected]
Cite this: Langmuir 2022, 38, 29, 8899–8905
Publication Date (Web):July 11, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.2c01024
Copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Controlling the alignment of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) on the macroscopic scale is critical for practical applications because SWCNTs are extremely anisotropic materials. One efficient technique is to create an effective SWCNT dispersion, which shows a liquid crystal (LC) phase. A strong acid treatment can realize SWCNT liquid crystalline dispersions. However, strong acids pose a substantial safety risk, which renders the process unfit for mass production. Herein, an isolated SWCNT dispersion displaying an LC behavior is prepared using sodium cholate without an acid treatment, and its phase transition behaviors are systematically investigated across the isotropic to biphasic to nematic phases. As the SWCNT concentration increases, the dispersion undergoes an isotropic-to-nematic phase transition in which the spindle-shaped LC droplets, or the so-called tactoids, and the Schlieren textures can be observed in the intermediate biphasic state and the nematic phase, respectively. The arrangements of SWCNTs in the tactoids and the Schlieren structures are directly investigated by polarized optical microscopy. The clear LC behaviors of the CNT dispersion suggest that the CNT orientations can be controlled by the normal surfactant-assisted method, which is a crucial advantage for the liquid-phase processing of CNT fibers and films.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.langmuir.2c01024.

    • Typical TEM image of eDIPS–SWCNTs and diameter distribution of SWCNTs based on the TEM observations (Figure S1); optical absorption spectra of the SWCNT dispersions before and after ultrafiltration (Figure S2); and polarized optical microscopy image of the nematic phase (0.49 vol %) (Figure S3) (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 1 publications.

    1. Keiko Kojima, Hirokuni Jintoku, Yuki Kuwahara, Miho Aizawa, Takahiro Yamamoto, Shun Muroga, Kazufumi Kobashi, Toshiya Okazaki. Liquid-crystalline behaviors of single-walled carbon nanotube aqueous dispersions with different nanotube aspect ratios and surfactants. Applied Physics Express 2022, 15 (12) , 125003. https://doi.org/10.35848/1882-0786/aca23c