Individualization and ‘networking’ of carbon nanotubes – interdependent chemical modifications in the quest for novel nanomaterials

In this project – important for electrical and thermal properties – chemical modifications of CNTs enabling individualization of nanotubes and, in parallel, the maintenance of their original skeleton would constitute the most powerful tool from the application point-of-view.

As inspired by organic chemistry methods, we intend to extend the scope of possible chemical modifications of CNTs involving the recovery of their original skeleton by subsequent thermal post-treatment. After the first stages of addition of the pre-designed, numerous external reagents and their tethering to CNT walls, so-modified CNTs will possibly change into a state in which they will maintain their original character enabling delocalization of electrons as it takes place in metals. Afterward, the modified CNTs will be incorporated into e.g. electroconductive textile coatings including ECG T-shirts and thermoconductive nanofluids to verify the hypothesis.

We will also interconnect CNTs in order to make three-dimensional electrically and thermally conductive networks. The project aims at opening novel toolboxes with ways to prepare novel 21st-century lightweight and multi-functional materials exhibiting enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity.