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Nuevo artículo: «Ultra-fast mechanochemical strategy to obtain stable colloidal dispersions of MWCNT in hydrophilic media: Never has been so easy»

In this paper, we present a new protocol that allows the dispersion of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) in the form of stable colloids in a hydrophilic medium up to concentrations of ca. 0.06 % (w/w). The strategy involves using a combination of mechanochemical treatment and surfactants. In this study, we processed MWCNTs with surfactants in a ball mill without using any solvents. The mechanochemical treatment consists of processing mixtures of MWCNTs (0.35 g) with different surfactants (4.5 g of CTAB, 3.6 g of SDS and 4.5 g of F127 as cationic anionic and neutral surfactants, respectively) in a ball mill for only 20 min at 300 rpm. The resulting black powder is then used directly to prepare dispersions in hydro-alcoholic media, which maintain colloidal stability for at least 25 days. Although various strategies for dispersal have been proposed in the literature, many involve time-consuming and multi-step processes with low yields. The MWCNTs modified non-covalently using our protocol are synthesised in a single step with a 100 % yield without any loss of reagents. MWCNT have shown potential in many emerging applications of great interest. Its use necessarily implies the achievement of a good dispersion in different solvents, and this aspect, in the case of hydrophilic media, still does not have a satisfactory answer. The absence of solvent during the mechanochemical treatment is the key aspect of our strategy. This small change represents a significant improvement. We demonstrate the outstanding stability of the obtained suspensions and the preservation of the nano-/microstructure of the MWCNTs, which remains unaltered during their preparation. Furthermore, using environmentally friendly solutions for dispersion makes this protocol a Green Chemistry approach.

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