Macroscopic ribbon-like assemblies of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are functionalised using a simple direct-current-based plasma−liquid system, with oxygen and nitrogen functional groups being added. These modifications have been shown to reduce the contact angle of the ribbons, with the greatest reduction being from 84° to 35°. The ability to improve the wettability of the CNTs is of paramount importance for producing nanofluids, with relevance for a number of applications. Here, in particular, we investigate the efficacy of these samples as nanofluid additives for solar−thermal harvesting. Surface treatments by plasma-induced non-equilibrium electrochemistry are shown to enhance the stability of the nanofluids, allowing for full redispersion under simulated operating conditions. Furthermore, the enhanced dispersibility results in both a larger absorption coefficient and an improved thermal profile under solar simulation.
- plasma functionalisation
- carbon nanotubes