A report reopens the discussion of “Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in a Polymer” (MSC-23257), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 12 (December 2007), page 38. To recapitulate: Sequestration of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in molecules of poly(m-phenylenevinylene-co-2,5-dioctyloxy- p-phenylenevinylene) [PmPV] is a candidate means of promoting dissolution of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) into epoxies for making strong, lightweight epoxy-matrix/carbon-fiber composite materials. Bare SWNTs cannot be incorporated because they are not soluble in epoxies. One can render SWNTs soluble by chemically attaching various molecular chains to them, but such chemical attachments weaken them. In the present approach, one exploits the tendency of PmPV molecules to wrap themselves around SWNTs without chemically bonding to them. Attached to the backbones of the PmPV molecules are side chains that are soluble in, and chemically reactive with, epoxy precursors, and thus enable suspension of SWNTs in epoxy precursors. At time of the cited prior article, there had been only partial success in functionalizing the side chains to make them sufficiently soluble and reactive. The instant report states that a method of functionalization has been developed.

This work was done by Richard A. Bley of Eltron Research, Inc. for Johnson Space Center.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Eltron Research Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, Co 80301-3241
Phone No.: (303) 530-0263
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refer to MSC-23733-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

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This article first appeared in the September, 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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