The assignee for this patent, patent number 8709676, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention is generally related to a carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid and the nanocomposite thereof, and more particularly to a chemically bonded carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid and the nanocomposite thereof.
"Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown attractive properties, such as light-weight, high strength, high toughness, high specific surface area, high thermal conductivity, that make them potentially useful in many applications. However, CNTs require organic functionalization to increase their solubility in organic solvents, compatibility with organic polymers, and processibility. The functionalization of CNTs with polymers has received much research attention because the products show the combined properties of CNTs and polymers. Most of the approaches require the pre-modification of CNTs to introduce functional groups to CNT surfaces, making the CNTs capable of reacting to the reactive groups of polymer chains. On the other hand, the preparation of CNT-polymer hybrids can use pristine (unmodified) CNTs. Polymers possessing functional groups that are reactive toward CNTs are suitable materials for functionalization of CNTs through this method.
"The polymers capable of being covalently incorporated to CNTs are limited to two categories. The first category is polymers possessing functional groups that are reactive toward CNTs and the second category is polymers obtained with in situ polymerization. For example, the polymers possessing functional groups that are reactive toward CNTs can be polyamide having maleimide groups that react to CNTs through Diels-Alder reaction. But, the disadvantage of using the first category of polymers is that a specific method for reacting to CNTs is required for each different polymer. In addition, another disadvantage is that polymers have to possess functional groups that are reactive toward CNTs.
"Polymer-functionalized CNTs, compared to the unmodified ones, usually show relatively good solubility in organic solvents and high compatibility to polymer matrix in CNT/polymer composites. However, the organic portions of functionalized CNTs are considered to be 'impurities' that induce microscopic separation in the CNT/polymer composites and harm their properties. Therefore, the preferred method is to use polymers that are structurally close to the matrix polymers in CNT functionalization to decrease the 'impurity' effect.
"On the other hand, there is no reported method to have stable and non-reactive polymers, particularly like commercially available polymers and high performance engineering plastics, covalently bonded to pristine CNTs. That is, currently there is no general approach to functionalize CNTs to have CNTs and various matrix polymers covalently bonded.
"The applications of CNTs to the modification of polymers demonstrate the improvements in the mechanical properties and conductivity of the polymers as well as the increase in their proton conductivity for a proton conductive membrane."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In light of the above background, in order to fulfill the industrial requirements, the invention provides a chemically bonded carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid and the nanocomposite thereof by utilizing various polymers, such as stable and non-reactive polymers, particularly like commercially available polymers and high performance engineering plastics.
"One characteristic of the present invention is to provide a chemically bonded carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid, comprising: a polymer; and at least one carbon nanotube, chemically bonded to the polymer chain of the polymer; wherein the polymer is processed by an ozone-mediated process to form at least one reactive moiety to react with the carbon nanotube to thereby generate the nanotube-polymer hybrid.
"Another characteristic of the present invention is to provide a nanocomposite, comprising: at least one first polymer; at least one carbon nanotube, chemically bonded to the polymer chain of the first polymer to form a nanotube-first-polymer hybrid; and at least one second polymer, the polymer matrix of which is dispersed with the nanotube-first-polymer hybrid; wherein the first polymer is processed by an ozone-mediated process to form at least one reactive moiety on the polymer chain of the first polymer to react with the carbon nanotube to thereby generate the nanotube-first-polymer hybrid.
"Another characteristic of the present invention is to provide a nanocomposite film, which is formed by the above mentioned nanocomposite to have the increased mechanical strength, conductivity, or proton conductivity.
"Accordingly, the present invention discloses a chemically bonded carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid and the nanocomposite thereof and the present invention has the advantages of effectively covalently bonding CNTs and various matrix polymers, even for stable and non-reactive polymers, such as commercially available polymers and high performance engineering plastics. Therefore, this present invention does have the economic advantages for industrial applications."
For more information, see this patent: Liu, Ying-Ling; Chang, Chia-Ming. Chemically Bonded Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Hybrid and Nanocomposite. U.S. Patent Number 8709676, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Fullerenes, Engineering, Carbon Nanotubes,
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