A direct route toward assembly of nanoparticle-carbon nanotube composite materials

Li Han, Wendy Wu, F. Louis Kirk, Jin Luo, Mathew M. Maye, Nancy N. Kariuki, Yuehe Lin, Chongmin Wang, Ghuan Jian Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


The preparation of nanocomposite materials from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and metal or metal oxide nanoparticles has important implications to the development of advanced catalytic and sensory materials. This paper reports findings of an investigation of the preparation of nanoparticle-coated carbon nanotube composite materials. Our approach involves molecularly mediated assembly of monolayer-capped nanoparticles on multiwalled CNTs via a combination of hydrophobia and hydrogen-bonding interactions between the capping/mediating shell and the CNT surface. The advantage of this route is that it does not require tedious surface modification of CNTs. We have demonstrated its simplicity and effectiveness for assembling alkanethiolate-capped gold nanoparticles of 2-5 nm core sizes onto CNTs with controllable coverage and spatially isolated character. The loading and distribution of the nanoparticles on CNTs depend on the relative concentrations of gold nanoparticles, CNTs, and mediating or linking agents. The composite nanomaterials can be dispersed in organic solvent, and the capping/linking shells can be removed by thermal treatment to produce controllable nanocrystals on the CNT surfaces. The nanocomposite materials are characterized using transmission electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy techniques. The results will be discussed in terms of developing advanced catalytic and sensory nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6019-6025
Number of pages7
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 6 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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