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Unique Hybrid Materials - Organic Nanocrystals with Carbon Nanotube Dispersions

Technology Number: 


Principal Investigator



Organic Chemistry

Materials with novel photonic and electric properties are in demand for a variety of uses, ranging from novel dyes to components in electronic devices. A promising area for the development of such materials is organic nanocrystals (ONCs), as they not only have these properties, but also the capacity for self-assembly and disassembly under controlled conditions. However, it would be of great interest to combine ONCs with other materials to enhance properties of robustness and electrical conductivity. A potential hybrid material could be formed with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), however CNTs are difficult to handle mainly due to their poor dispersion properties in different media/matrices.

The group of Prof. Rybtchinski has managed to develop a method for the fabrication of a novel hybrid material combining ONCs and CNTs. By using standard widely available organic dyes, the Rybtchinski group was able to generate a nanocomposite, where the organic dyes form ONCs in tandem with a well dispersed CNT phase. The nanocomposite shows excellent conductivity as well as other desirable properties such as high thermal tolerance.


The team of Prof. Rybtchinski used readily available, hydrophobic perylene diimide (PDIs) derivatives as the base component for the production of ONCs. The PDIs were mixed and bath sonicated with either single wall CNTs or multi-wall CNTs, in an aqueous media to produce film dispersions with different CNT/ONC ratios. Depending on the PDI derivative the Rybtchinski team was able to achieve homogenous dispersion of the CNTs in the ONCs, with CNT content ranging from ~3-8 wt% all the way to > 60 wt%. Characterization of the nanocomposite showed a high thermal stability, up to 300 °C, along with high electrical conductivity even with low CNT content of 3 wt%.


·        Effective way to disperse CNTs in matrices to form homogenous composites

·        Tunable CNT content

·        High thermal stability (~300 °C)

·        Excellent Conductivity (Above 5 Sm?1)

·        Useful for conductive colorant and optoelectronics systems