Chemical Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes by Metallization/Coordination


Ha-Jin Lee and Tinh Nguyen


Materials and Construction Research Division, BFRL

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Gaithersburg, MD  20899



Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have extraordinary mechanical and physical properties, and the scientific and technological potential of these materials has attracted considerable attention in recent years. †However, because CNTs are chemically inert, it is extremely difficult to disperse them in solvents and polymers. †Chemical modification of CNTs (fCNTs) is an effective method for solubilizing and dispersing CNTs in solutions. †We have successfully functionlized CNTs using the metallization/coordination approach. †In this procedure, CNTs are first oxidized in strong acids to form COOH groups on the CNTs, which are then coordinated with metal halides to generate COOH-metal complex CNTs (COO-M+CNTs). †The metal complex CNTs are then reacted with carboxyl compounds to produce the desired functionalized groups that will interact with the solvents or polymer solutions. †Since, metal-complex CNTs are very reactive towards the carboxylic groups, even at room temperature, this method of functionalization is easy to accomplish. †We have used this approach to functionalize both single wall (SWCNT) and multiwall (MWCNT) with stearic acid, tartaric acid, and ethylenediamine tetraacetic acids (EDTA) to produce CNTs that have hydrocarbon, OH, and COOH, respectively. †A number of techniques have been used to characterize COO-M+CNTs and COO-M+ fCNTs, including FTIR, Raman, TGA, SEM, TEM, and the results are presented in this poster. †Metallization/coordination has been found as a viable method to chemically-functionalize CNTs, and the fCNTs can be used for polymer nanocomposites and bio-technological applications.

Name: Ha Jin Lee

Mentorís name: Tinh Nguyen

Division: Materials and Construction Research Division

Laboratory: Building and Fire Research Laboratory

Room:† B366/Bldg226

Mailstop: 8615

Tel: x2498

Fax: 301 990 6891


Sigma Xi member: No

Category: Chemistry