Azobenzene-based supramolecular polymers for processing MWCNTs

Laura Maggini, Tomas Marangoni, Benoît Georges, Joanna M. Malicka, K. Yoosaf, Andrea Minoia, Roberto Lazzaroni, Nicola Armaroli, Davide Bonifazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photothermally responsive supramolecular polymers containing azobenzene units have been synthesised and employed as dispersants for multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in organic solvents. Upon triggering the trans-cis isomerisation of the supramolecular polymer intermolecular interactions between MWCNTs and the polymer are established, reversibly affecting the suspensions of the MWCNTs, either favouring it (by heating, i.e. cis → trans isomerisation) or inducing the CNTs' precipitation (upon irradiation, trans → cis isomerisation). Taking advantage of the chromophoric properties of the molecular subunits, the solubilisation/precipitation processes have been monitored by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. The structural properties of the resulting MWCNT-polymer hybrid materials have been thoroughly investigated via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) and modelled with molecular dynamics simulations. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-645
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2013


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