Novel nanocomposites of poly (3-alkylthiophenes) with functionalized MWCNT were prepared. These nanocomposites were synthesized by in-situ polymerization of the polymer in presence of the nanotubes. Nanocomposites with poly (3-MT) were synthesized by using different weight percentages of functionalized nanotubes during synthesis while those with other polymers were prepared using 30 mg of nanotubes. A nanocomposite of poly (3-MT) with nonfunctionalized nanotubes and a physical mixture of poly (3-MT) and functionalized nanotubes was also prepared. The above nanocomposites were characterized by using techniques such as FTIR, UV-visible spectroscopy and TGA. These techniques were used to show the difference between the nanocomposites and the physical mixture and to establish the fact that a bonding existed between the nanotubes and the polymers. Cyclic voltammetry was used to study the electrochemical properties of the nanocomposite. Using the data from the voltammograms, the capacitance of the nanocomposite electrode was estimated. Different materials were investigated for their potential use as sensing materials in chemical sensors. A sensor was fabricated using eight different materials as sensing material. Functionalized MWCNT, non functionalized MWCNT, poly(3-methylthiophene), 3 different compositions of nanocomposite with functionalized MWCNT/poly (3-MT), nanocomposite with non functionalized MWCNT and 1:1 blend of functionalized MWCNT and poly(3-methylthiophene) were examined as sensing elements. The sensor was tested for its sensitivity, response time and selectivity towards a variety of chemicals such as chlorinated hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones etc.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanostructured materials--Testing; Chemical detectors--Design and construction; Nanotubes--Testing; Conducting polymers--Testing; Smart materials--Testing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Center for Materials Science and Engineering


K.S.V. Santhanam


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TA418.9.N35 S26 2003


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