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Surface modification and characterization of carbon spheres by grafting polyelectrolyte brushes

Qi Zhang1, Houbin Li12*, Pan Zhang1, Liangliang Liu1, Yuhang He1 and Yali Wang1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Printing and Packaging, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, People's Republic of China

2 State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:283  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-283

Published: 4 June 2014


Modified carbon spheres (CSPBs) were obtained by grafting poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) (p-DMDAAC) on the surface of carbon spheres (CSs). It can be viewed as a kind of cation spherical polyelectrolyte brushes (CSPBs), which consist of carbon spheres as core and polyelectrolytes as shell. The method of synthesizing carbon spheres was hydrothermal reaction. Before the polyelectrolyte brushes were grafted, azo initiator [4,4′-Azobis(4-cyanovaleric acyl chloride)] was attached to the carbon spheres' surface through hydroxyl groups. CSPBs were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), conductivity meter, and system zeta potential. The results showed that compared with carbon spheres, the conductivity and zeta potential on CSPBs increased from 9.98 to 49.24 μS/cm and 11.6 to 42.5 mV, respectively, after the polyelectrolyte brushes were grafted. The colloidal stability in water was enhanced, and at the same time, the average diameter of the CSPBs was found to be 173 nm, and the average molecular weight and grafted density of the grafted polyelectrolyte brushes were 780,138 g/mol and 4.026 × 109/nm2, respectively.

Carbon spheres; Cation spherical polyelectrolyte brushes; Surface modification; Azo initiator; DMDAAC