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1.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 556: 172-179, 2019 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31445446

RESUMO

The rich pool of protein conformations combined with the dimensions and properties of carbon nanotubes create new possibilities in functional materials and nanomedicine. Here, the intrinsically disordered protein α-synuclein is explored as a dispersant of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in water. We use a range of spectroscopic methods to quantify the amount of dispersed SWNT and to elucidate the binding mode of α-synuclein to SWNT. The dispersion ability of α-synuclein is good even with mild sonication and the obtained dispersion is very stable over time. The whole polypeptide chain is involved in the interaction accompanied by a fraction of the chain changing into a helical structure upon binding. Similar to other dispersants, we observe that only a small fraction (15-20%) of α-synuclein is adsorbed on the SWNT surface with an average residence time below 10 ms.


Assuntos
Proteínas Intrinsicamente Desordenadas/química , Nanotubos de Carbono/química , alfa-Sinucleína/química , Coloides , Humanos
2.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 547: 69-77, 2019 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30939346

RESUMO

Surfactants have been widely employed to debundle, disperse and stabilize carbon nanotubes in aqueous solvents. Yet, a thorough understanding of the dispersing mechanisms at molecular level is still warranted. Herein, we investigated the influence of the molecular structure of gemini surfactants on the dispersibility of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). We used dicationic n-s-n gemini surfactants, varying n and s, the number of alkyl tail and alkyl spacer carbons, respectively; for comparisons, single-tailed surfactant homologues were also studied. Detailed curves of dispersed MWNT concentration vs. surfactant concentration were obtained through a stringently controlled experimental procedure, allowing for molecular insight. The gemini are found to be much more efficient dispersants than their single-tailed homologues, i.e. lower surfactant concentration is needed to attain the maximum dispersed MWNT concentration. In general, the spacer length has a comparatively higher influence on the dispersing efficiency than the tail length. Further, scanning electron microscopy imaging shows a sizeable degree of MWNT debundling by the gemini surfactants in the obtained dispersions. Our observations also point to an adsorption process that does not entail the formation of micelle-like aggregates on the nanotube surface, but rather coverage by individual molecules, among which the ones that seem to be able to adapt best to the nanotube surface provide the highest efficiency. These studies are relevant for the rational design and choice of optimal dispersants for carbon nanomaterials and other similarly water-insoluble materials.

3.
Langmuir ; 34(45): 13672-13679, 2018 11 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30335395

RESUMO

When using amphiphilic polymers to exfoliate and disperse carbon nanotubes in water, the balance between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties is critical and nontrivial. Here, we investigate the mode of surface attachment of a triblock copolymer, Pluronics F127, composed of a central hydrophobic polypropylene oxide block flanked by hydrophilic polyethylene oxide blocks, onto single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Crucially, we analyze the composition in dispersant of both the as-obtained dispersion (the supernatant) and the precipitate-containing undispersed materials. For this, we combine the carefully obtained data from 1H NMR peak intensities and self-diffusion and thermogravimetric analysis. The molecular motions behind the observed NMR features are clarified. We find that the hydrophobic blocks attach to the dispersed SWNT surface and remain significantly immobilized leading to 1H NMR signal loss. On the other hand, the hydrophilic blocks remain highly mobile and thus readily detectable by NMR. The dispersant is shown to possess significant block polydispersity that has a large effect on dispersibility. Polymers with large hydrophobic blocks adsorb on the surface of the carbonaceous particles that precipitate, indicating that although a larger hydrophobic block is good for enhancing adsorption, it may be less effective in dispersing the tubes. A model is also proposed that consistently explains our observations in SWNT dispersions and some contradicting findings obtained previously in carbon nanohorn dispersions. Overall, our findings help elucidating the molecular picture of the dispersion process for SWNTs and are of interest when looking for more effective (i.e., well-balanced) polymeric dispersants.

4.
J Phys Chem B ; 121(46): 10583-10592, 2017 11 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29064700

RESUMO

Numerous reports have shown that the self-assembling properties of 12-s-12 bis(quaternary ammonium) gemini surfactants in aqueous solution are significantly influenced by s, the number of methylene groups in the covalent spacer. However, the role played by s on the phase behavior of the single compounds has not been investigated in a similarly systematic way. Here, we report on the thermotropic phase behavior of the anhydrous compounds with s = 2-6, 8, 10, and 12, resorting to differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarized light microscopy (PLM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). All of the compounds show a stepwise melting behavior, decomposing at 200 °C. As the spacer length increases, nonmonotonic trends are observed for the thermodynamic parameters of the thermotropic phase transitions, mesophase formation, and solid-state d00l spacings. In particular, the number and type of mesophases (ordered smectic phases and/or fluid smectic liquid crystals) depend critically on s. Further, upon heating molecules with s < 8 decompose before the liquid phase, while those with long spacers, s = 8-12, reach the isotropization (clearing) temperature, hence forming both ionic liquid crystals and ionic liquid phases. We demonstrate that the melting behavior and type of ionic mesophases formed by gemini molecules can be usefully manipulated by a simple structural parameter like the length of the covalent linker.

5.
Dalton Trans ; 46(20): 6533-6543, 2017 May 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28379275

RESUMO

The most common synthesis methods for copper hydride (CuH) employ hard ligands that lead to the formation of considerable amounts of metallic Cu as side-product. Here we explore a synthesis method for CuH(s) through the reaction of CuCO3·Cu(OH)2(s) with hypophosphorous acid (H3PO2) in solution, via the formation of the intermediate Cu(H2PO2)2(aq) complex. The reaction products were characterized with XRD, FTIR and SEM at different reaction times, and the kinetics of the transformation of Cu(H2PO2)2(aq) to CuH(s) were followed with NMR and are discussed. We show that our synthesis method provides a simple way for obtaining large amounts of CuH(s) even when the synthesis is performed in air. Compared to the classic Würtz method, where CuSO4 is used as an initial source of Cu2+, our synthesis produces CuH particles with less metallic Cu side-product. We attribute this to the fact that our reaction medium is free from the hard SO42- ligand that can disproportionate Cu(i). We discuss a mechanism for the reaction based on the known reactivity of the reagents and intermediates involved. We explored the possibility of using CuH(s) for making electrically conductive films. Tests that employed water-dispersed CuH particles show that this compound can be reduced with H3PO2 leading to electrically conductive thin films of Cu. These films were made on regular office paper and were found to be Ohmic conductors even after several weeks of exposure to ambient conditions. The fact that the synthesis reported here produces large amounts of CuH particles in aqueous media, with very little impurities, and the fact that these can then be converted to a stable electrically conductive film can open up new applications for CuH such as for printing electrically conductive films or manufacturing surface coatings.

6.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 493: 398-404, 2017 05 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28131086

RESUMO

Mechanical agitation is commonly used to fragment and disperse insoluble materials in liquids. However, here we show that when pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes pre-dispersed in water are subject to vortex-shaking for very short periods (typically 10-60s, power density ∼0.002WmL-1), re-aggregation counterintuitively occurs. The initial dispersions are produced using surfactants as dispersants and powerful tip sonication (∼1WmL-1) followed by centrifugation. Detailed imaging by light and electron microscopies shows that the vortex-induced aggregates consist of loose networks (1-102µm in size) of intertwined tubes and thin bundles. The average aggregate size increases with vortexing time in an apparently logarithmic manner and depends on the dispersant used, initial concentration of nanotubes and size distribution of bundles. The aggregation is, nonetheless, reversible: if the vortex-shaken dispersions are mildly bath-sonicated (∼0.03WmL-1), the flocs break down and re-dispersal occurs. Molecular insight for the mechanism behind this surprising phenomenon is put forth.

7.
Langmuir ; 31(40): 10955-65, 2015 Oct 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26390187

RESUMO

A fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in the surfactant-assisted exfoliation and dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in water calls for well-controlled experimental methodologies and reliable comparative metrics. We have assessed the ability of several ionic surfactants to disperse single and multiwalled carbon nanotubes, resorting to a stringently controlled sonication-centrifugation method for the preparation of the dispersions. The CNT concentration was accurately measured for a wide range of surfactant concentration, using combined thermogravimetric analysis and UV-vis spectroscopy. The obtained dispersibility curves yield several quantitative parameters, which in turn allow for the effects of nanotube morphology and surfactant properties (aromatic rings, chain length, headgroup charge, and cmc) to be assessed and rationalized, both in terms of dispersed nanotube mass and surface area. The data also indicate that the CNT-surfactant association follows patterns that are markedly different from other equilibrium processes governed by hydrophobicity (such as micellization); in particular, the surfactant concentration needed for maximum dispersibility, c(s,max), and the number of surfactant molecules per unit CNT area at c(s,max) are shown to depend linearly on chain length. The results further suggest that the presence of micelles in the exfoliation process is not a key factor either for starting CNT dispersibility or attaining its saturation value.

8.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces ; 86(1): 65-70, 2011 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21493048

RESUMO

Amino acid-derived surfactants have increasingly become a viable biofriendly alternative to petrochemically based amphiphiles as speciality surfactants. Herein, the Krafft temperatures and critical micelle concentrations (cmc) of three series of novel amino acid-derived surfactants have been determined by differential scanning microcalorimetry and surface tension measurements, respectively. The compounds comprise cationic molecules based on serine and tyrosine headgroups and anionic ones based on 4-hydroxyproline headgroups, with varying chain lengths. A linear dependence of the logarithm of cmc on chain length is found for all series, and in comparison to conventional ionic surfactants of equal chain length, the new amphiphiles present lower cmc and lower surface tension at the cmc. These observations highlight their enhanced interfacial performance. For the 18-carbon serine-derived surfactant the effects of counterion change and of the presence of a cis-double bond in the alkyl chain have also been investigated. The overall results are discussed in terms of headgroup and alkyl chain effects on micellization, in the light of available data for conventional surfactants and other types of amino acid-based amphiphiles reported in the literature.


Assuntos
Aminoácidos/química , Micelas , Tensoativos/química , Tensão Superficial
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