Cataphoretic assembly of cationic dyes and deposition of carbon nanotube and graphene films
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Cathodic electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method has been developed for the fabrication of thin films from aqueous solutions of crystal violet (CV) dyes. The films contained rod-like particles with a long axis oriented perpendicular to the substrate surface. The proposed deposition mechanism involved cataphoresis of cationic CV(+) species, base generation in the cathodic reactions, and charge neutralization at the electrode surface. The assembly of rod-like particles was governed by π-π interactions of polyaromatic CV molecules. The deposition kinetics was studied by quartz crystal microbalance. CV dyes allowed efficient dispersion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and graphene in water at relatively low CV concentrations. The feasibility of cathodic EPD of MWCNT and graphene from aqueous suspensions, containing CV, has been demonstrated. The deposition yield was investigated at different CV concentrations and deposition voltages. The relatively high deposition yield of MWCNT and graphene indicated that CV is an efficient dispersing, charging, and film forming agent for EPD. Electron microscopy data showed that at low CV concentrations in MWCNT or graphene suspensions and low deposition voltages, the films contained mainly MWCNT or graphene. The increase in the CV concentration and/or deposition voltage resulted in enhanced co-deposition of CV. The EPD method developed in this investigation paves the way for the fabrication of advanced nanocomposites by cathodic electrodeposition.
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