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Thread: Evaporating NMP from a CNT PDMS mix

  1. #1 Evaporating NMP from a CNT PDMS mix 
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    Hey guys, I'm trying to use NMP to disperse carbon nanotubes throughout PDMS to make conductive polymers. I'm having problems as the NMP will not evaporate from the solution, which in turn prevents the PDMs from curing. I've tried using THF and it evaporates perfectly, but does not diesperse the nanotubes enough. If anyone has any ideas of tips on how to safely remove/evaporate the NMP without damaging the CNTs it would be much appreciated!!!!


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    how about defineing your acronyms?


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    Forum Freshman Spin-1/2-nuclei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crs-smyth View Post
    Hey guys, I'm trying to use NMP to disperse carbon nanotubes throughout PDMS to make conductive polymers. I'm having problems as the NMP will not evaporate from the solution, which in turn prevents the PDMs from curing. I've tried using THF and it evaporates perfectly, but does not diesperse the nanotubes enough. If anyone has any ideas of tips on how to safely remove/evaporate the NMP without damaging the CNTs it would be much appreciated!!!!
    Hello,

    Have you considered trying ultrasonic dispersion with THF?

    If you must use the NMP..
    Is there a reason you can't do a normal extraction? Will adding an organic solvent ruin the dispersion of the CNTs in the PDMS.

    So if it is just the CNT that you don't want to damage I'm pretty confident it would survive a normal extraction, but I'm not sure about your dispersion properties. The PDMS has a hydrophobic surface, and the CNTs - unless they are specially designed to be water soluble - should also be hydrophobic. If that is the case, given that NMP is water soluble you should be able to separate it from your CNTs by doing a normal extraction with another non-polar organic solvent.

    If you cannot do a normal extraction, have you considered heating the NMP, it is recyclable via distillation. Is anything in your solution heat sensitive? If you tried a vacuum distillation you would probably be able to get the NMP out of your solution at a lower temp.

    Also, perhaps try Sci-Finder, I know a lot of the polymer chemists in my department use NMP to disperse their CNTs all the time, if you check out a few experimentals for CNTs similar to yours you might find a method for vacuum distilling the NMP that is safe for the CNTs and works well.

    best of luck..
    Cheers
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