Publication Details (including relevant citation information): Bouchard, Dermont, Zhang, Wei, Powell, Tremaine, Rattanaudompol, U-sa, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (8), pp 4458-4465
Abstract: Little is known about how low levels of surfactants can affect the colloidal stability of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and how surfactant-wrapping of SWNTs can impact ecological exposures in aqueous systems. In this study, SWNTs were suspended in water with sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) as a surface-active dispersing agent. The effect of SDS concentration on SWNT suspension stability was investigated with time-resolved dynamic light scattering (TRDLS) initial aggregation studies utilizing both monovalent (Na+) and divalent (Ca2+) cations. The critical coagulation concentration (CCC) values increased with SDS concentration for the Na+ treatments, but the Ca2+ treatments were less sensitive to SDS concentration changes. Longer term stability studies with SDS concentrations orders of magnitude below the SDS critical micelle concentration demonstrated that SWNTs remained suspended for over six weeks in a surface water. Transport studies in a freshwater sediment similarly showed a SDS concentration-dependent mobility of SDS?wrapped SWNTs in that SWNTs showed a relatively greater retention at lower SDS concentrations (0.001%?0.05% w/v) than at a higher SDS concentration (0.1%). It is hypothesized that the stability and mobility of SWNT suspensions is directly related to the surface coverage of SDS on the SWNT surface that simultaneously increases electrosteric repulsion and decreases surface chemical heterogeneity. Overall, these studies demonstrate that low levels of surfactant are effective in stabilizing and mobilizing SWNTs in environmental media.
Address (URL): http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es204618v