Dynamic light scattering (DLS) along with centrifugation and shaking tests reveal that dissolved gases can significantly affect the aggregation behavior of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) dispersed in water. The CNTs in non-degassed samples form loose, stable networks having the DLS result reminiscent of semidilute polymer solutions, whereas the CNTs in degassed samples aggregate to form Brownian colloids that sediment quickly. Interestingly, the CNTs dispersed in acetone, with or without degassing, also behave like semidilute polymers in DLS experiments. We propose a surface nanobubble-assisted mechanism to explain the observed aggregation behaviors. Our work signifies that dissolved gases may play an important role in determining hydrophobicity and biomolecular functions in aqueous environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)