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Anomalous pH Actuation of a Chitosan/SWNT Microfiber Hydrogel with Improved Mechanical Property

  • Su Ryon Shin (a1), Sang Jun Park (a2), Seong Gil Yoon (a3), Chang Kee Lee (a4), Kwang Min Shin (a5), Bon Kang Gu (a6), Min Kyoon Shin (a7), Min Sup Kim (a8), Yu Jin Kim (a9) and Seon Jeong Kim (a10)...


Composite fibers composed of chitosan and single-wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been fabricated using a wet spinning method. The dispersion was improved by the sonic agitation of the CNTs in a chitosan solution followed by centrifugation to remove tube aggregates and any residual catalyst. The mechanical behavior was investigated using a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA). The mechanical tests showed a dramatic increase in Young's modulus for the chitosan/CNT composite fibers fabricated using the improved dispersion method. The strain on the microfibers was determined from tensile load measurements during pH switching in acidic or basic electrolyte solutions. The microfibers showed a general actuation behavior of expanding at pH = 2 and contracting at pH = 7 under low tensile loads. However, a reverse of this actuation behavior was exhibited under high tensile loads. This anomalous pH actuation is both new and surprising. It was explained from an analysis of the differences in sample stiffness and Poisson’s ratio under tensile load in electrolyte solutions with different pH values.



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