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Keywords:

  • multi-walled carbon nanotubes;
  • polyaniline;
  • formic acid;
  • electrooxidation;
  • cyclic voltammogram;
  • fuel cell

Abstract

Incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in conducting polymer can lead to new composites with enhanced electrical and mechanical properties. However, the development of such composites has been hampered by the inability to disperse CNTs in polymer matrix due to the lack of chemical compatibility between polymers and CNTs. Covalent sidewall functionalization of carbon nanotube provides a feasible route to incorporate carbon nanotube in polymer. In this work, 4-aminobenzene groups were grafted onto the surface of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) via C[BOND]C covalent bond. Polyaniline (PANI)/MWNT composites were fabricated by electrochemical polymerization of aniline containing well-dissolved functionalized MWNTs. The obtained composites can be used as catalyst supports for electrooxidation of formic acid. Cyclic voltammogram results show that platinum particles deposited in PANI/MWNT composite films exhibit higher electrocatalytic activity and better long-term stability towards formic acid oxidation than that deposited in pure PANI films. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010