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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Nov 23;110(46):23179-91.

Trapping, pattern formation, and ordering of polyelectrolyte/single-wall carbon nanotube complexes at the air/water and air/solid interfaces.

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Instituto de Física, Dr. Manuel Nava Martínez No. 6, Zona Universitaria, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí 78290, Mexico.


The Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) techniques have been applied in a novel approach to build structurally well-ordered, oriented, and organized assemblies of water-soluble single-wall carbon nanotubes (ws-SWCNTs) at the air/water and air/solid interfaces. The SWCNTs were rendered hydrophilic by complexing them with a quenched polyelectrolyte. We observed that the ws-SWCNT concentration at the air/water interface increases with time condensing into different patterns, among which are isolated soap-froths, rings, and the aggregation of cumuli-like 2D-structures. These patterns were recorded at different compression-expansion stages by Brewster angle microscopy (BAM). From the isotherm measurements, we are able to determine the diffusion process by which ws-SWCNT concentration builds up at the water surface. The corresponding LB films were very stable and could be transferred onto mica substrates easily. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images revealed that the morphology of these films is surface-pressure dependent, and aligned structures with a nematic-like order formed closely packed mono- or multilayer films. The assembly of 2D-nanostructures by means of this approach offers a great potential for emergent technological applications using modified water-soluble SWCNTs.

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