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Nano Research

Article Title

Electrostabilized homogeneous dispersion of boron nitride nanotubes in wide-range of solvents achieved by surface polarity modulation through pyridine attachment

Authors

Mi Se Chang, Powder/Ceramic Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea Research Institute of Advanced Materials and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
Min-Sun Jang, Powder/Ceramic Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea
Sangsun Yang, Powder/Ceramic Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea
Jihun Yu, Powder/Ceramic Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea
Taehoon Kim, Composites Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea
Sedong Kim, Dept. of Energy and Mech. Eng., Gyeongsang National University, Cheondaegukchi-Gil 38, Tongyeong 53064, Republic of Korea
Hyomin Jeong, Dept. of Energy and Mech. Eng., Gyeongsang National University, Cheondaegukchi-Gil 38, Tongyeong 53064, Republic of Korea
Chong Rae Park, Research Institute of Advanced Materials and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
Jae Won Jeong, Powder/Ceramic Research Division, Korea Institute of Materials Science, 797 Changwondae-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon 51508, Republic of Korea

Keywords

boron nitride nanotube, one-dimensional nanomaterials, surface polarity modulation, electrostabilization, boron nitride nanotube composite

Abstract

Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) show exceptional physical properties including high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity; however, their applications have been restricted due to limited dispersibility in processing solvents. Here, a novel BNNT dispersion method with exceptional dispersibility in a wide range of solvents has been demonstrated by surface polarity modulation through short-molecule pyridine attachment. Nitrogen atoms in pyridine are selectively bonded to electron-deficient boron atoms of the BNNT surface through Lewis acid-base reaction, which changes the surface polarity of BNNTs from neutral to negative. Re-dispersing pyridine-attached BNNTs (Py-BNNTs) create a thick and stable electronic double layer (EDL), resulting in uniform dispersion of BNNTs in solvents with an exceptional solubility parameter range of 18.5–48 MPa1/2. The uniform dispersion of BNNTs is maintained even after the mixing with diverse polymers. Finally, composites incorporating uniformly-distributed BNNTs have been realized, and extraordinary property enhancements have been observed. The thermal conductivity of 20 wt.% Py-BNNT/epoxy composite has been significantly improved by 69.6% and the tensile strength of 2 wt.% Py-BNNT/PVA has been dramatically improved by 75.3%. Our work demonstrates a simple and facile route to dispersing BNNTs in diverse solvents, consequently leading to selective utilization of BNNT dispersed solvents in various application fields.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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