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Materials 2014, 7(4), 3251-3261; doi:10.3390/ma7043251

Aggregates of Chemically Functionalized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes as Viscosity Reducers

2,* , 2
1 Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, University of Naples "Federico II"—DIETI, P.le Tecchio 80, Naples 80100, Italy 2 IPCB-CNR National Research Council—Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, P.le E. Fermi, Portici, Naples 80055, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Confinement and surface effects provided by nanoparticles have been shown to produce changes in polymer molecules affecting their macroscopic viscosity. Nanoparticles may induce rearrangements in polymer conformation with an increase in free volume significantly lowering the viscosity. This phenomenon is generally attributed to the selective adsorption of the polymer high molar mass fraction onto nanoparticles surface when the polymer radius of gyration is comparable to the nanoparticles characteristic dimensions. Carbon nanotubes seem to be the ideal candidate to induce viscosity reduction of polymer due to both their high surface-to-volume ratio and their nanometric sizes, comparable to the gyration radius of polymer chains. However, the amount of nanotube in a polymer system is limited by the percolation threshold as, above this limit, the formation of a nanotubes network hinders the viscosity reduction effect. Based on these findings, we have used multiwalled carbon nanotubes MWCNT “aggregates” as viscosity reducers. Our results reveal both that the use of nanotube clusters reduce significantly the viscosity of the final system and strongly increase the nanotube limiting concentration for viscosity hindering. By using hydroxyl and carboxyl functionalized nanotubes, this effect has been rather maximized likely due to the hydrogen bridged stabilization of nanotube aggregates.
Keywords: viscosity reducers; critical volume fraction; functionalized; nanotubes viscosity reducers; critical volume fraction; functionalized; nanotubes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Petriccione, A.; Zarrelli, M.; Antonucci, V.; Giordano, M. Aggregates of Chemically Functionalized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes as Viscosity Reducers. Materials 2014, 7, 3251-3261.

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