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The interaction of carbon nanotubes with soft organic molecules such as cyclodextrins and other saccharides has recently been shown to produce water-soluble composites. Such systems offer considerable advantages over polymer based composites due to their biocompatibility and noncovalent coupling which can potentially preserve the unique properties of the tubes. The mechanism of interaction of such systems has been proposed to be dominated by hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions along the surface of the tube. In this study a number of composite systems have been formed with HiPco carbon nanotubes using starch and starch based polymers. The first composite formed with starch was characterised using a range of spectroscopic, imaging and thermal techniques which showed clear evidence of an intermolecular interaction. The second and third composite systems formed utilised biodegradable starch based polymers namely starch cellulose acetate (SCA) and starch polycrapolactone (SPCL). The characterisation of these systems will be presented. Finally the potential for enzyme immobilisation into the composite matrix was investigated.
Casey, A. et al. (2005) Interaction of single walled carbon nanotubes with starch-based systems. Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 5824, pp. 182-189.