Single wall carbon nanotube templated crystallization of poly(vinyl alcohol)


Marilyn L Minus,, School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive NW, MRDC-1, Atlanta, GA 30332-0295 and Satish Kumar,, School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive, NW, MRDC1, Atlanta, GA 30332.
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is playing a significant role in the fiber formation studies from single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT). Macroscopic SWNT fibers for the first time were processed using PVA . Super tough PVA/SWNT fibers have also been reported . PVA/SWNT fibers have also been processed using gel spinning. Shearing of PVA and PVA/SWNT dispersions results in the formation of unoriented and oriented fibrils, respectively. Diameter and length of these fibrils was 25 to 800 nm and 0.5 to 3 mm, respectively. PVA fibrils were 48% crystalline, while PVA/SWNT fibers exhibited 84% crystallinity. In these stirred solutions PVA single crystals were also observed. PVA single crystals observed from PVA/SWNT dispersions have well defined shapes with thickness of 50 to 200 nm, while crystals formed only from PVA solution consist of irregular layers of less than 20 nm thick. This study illustrates that SWNT nucleates and templates polymer crystallization, producing unique polymer morphologies. Structure and morphology of PVA and PVA/SWNT crystals as well as processing and properties of PVA/SWNT fibers at low SWNT concentration (1 to 5 wt%) will be reported.