CNTs are commonly produced in bundles, held together by attractive van der Waals forces. In order to form a well-dispersed CNT suspension it is necessary to both break apart the CNT bundles and to stabilise the nanotubes in suspension by preventing aggregation.
The most common dispersion techniques for suspensions in a relatively low viscosity medium are sonication (using ultrasound) or mixing under high shear. It is hoped that the MPR may be used to provide more insight into the effect of mixing conditions on the properties of CNT suspensions.
|Confocal microscopy images of CNTs suspended in Epoxy after (a) 5 min and (b) 60 min of mixing by sonication.|