Facile alignment of carbon nanotubes mediated by tethered maghemite nanoparticles

Il Tae Kim, Grady A. Nunnery, Karl Jacob, Justin Schwartz, Xiaotao Liu, Rina Tannenbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


We describe a novel, facile method for the alignment of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in a magnetic field facilitated by the decoration of the MWNTs with monodisperse γ-Fe2O3 magnetic (maghemite) nanoparticles. The tethering of the nanoparticles was achieved by the attachment of γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles that were synthesized using a modified sol-gel process, onto the carboxylate-activated MWNTs. Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (NaDDBS) was used to prevent the formation of an iron oxide 3D network. Various characterization methods were employed to confirm the formation of homogeneously-distributed and nearly-monodispersed iron oxide nanoparticles, and show that they were indeed tethered to the walls of the MWNTs. The γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles imparted magnetic characteristics to the MWNTs, which in turn, were oriented parallel to the direction of an externally-applied magnetic field. This facile alignment of MWNT could promote the enhancement of various properties, e.g. mechanical and electrical properties, of the resulting composites. Moreover, this facile alignment at low magnetic fields, made possible by the magnetization of the carbon nanotubes through the tethering of maghemite nanoparticles, may be applied to a variety of other useful nanofillers, such a glass fibers, clay nanoparticles and cellulose nanowhiskers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLow-Dimensional Functional Nanostructures - Fabrication, Characterization and Applications
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781605112350
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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