Single-walled carbon nanotubes and polyaniline composites for capacitive deionization

Caijuan Yan, Linda Zou, Rob Short

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and polyaniline (PANI) composites with different proportions of SWCNTs were synthesized by in situ polymerization. The resultant composites were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and their morphology was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Their specific surface areas were determined by N 2 adsorption/desorption tests and the mesoporous structure of the composites was analyzed using the Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) method. A band shift in the FTIR spectrum indicates a strong interaction between PANI and SWCNTs. The mesopore volume was increased by introducing PANI into the SWCNTs. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) was carried out to study their electrochemical properties. The SWCNT/PANI composites obtained exhibited reversible electrochemical and faster ion transport properties, even in a neutral aqueous environment. This is probably due to \pi - \pi interaction between the PANI backbone and the graphite-like structure of carbon nanotubes. Finally, a capacitive deionization (CDI) test was conducted in a batch mode bench-scale cell. The electrodes made from SWCNT/PANI composites showed a higher ion electrosorption capacity than those made from SWCNTs alone and the composite electrodes can be easily regenerated, indicating excellent recyclability.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2012


  • Capacitive deionization
  • Carbon nanotube/polyaniline nanocomposites
  • Cyclic voltammetry
  • Mesoporous structure


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