In this review we focus on the current status of using carbon nanotube (CNT) as a filler for polymer nanocomposites. Starting
with the historical background of CNT, its distinct properties and the surface functionalization of the nanotube, the three different surface
polymerization techniques, namely grafting “from”, “to” and “through/in between” were discussed. Wider focus has been given on
“grafting from” surface initiated polymerizations, including atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), reversible addition fragmentation
chain-transfer (RAFT) Polymerization, nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP), ring opening polymerization (ROP) and other
miscellaneous polymerization methods. The grafting “to” and “through / in between” also discussed and compared with grafting from
polymerization. The merits and shortcomings of all three grafting methods were discussed and the bottleneck issue in grafting from
method has been highlighted. Furthermore the current and potential future industrial applications were deliberated. Finally the toxicity issue
of CNTs in the final product has been reviewed with the limited available literature knowledge.
Keywords: Carbon nano tubes, Controlled radical polymerizations, Functionalization, Grafting from, Grafting to, Grafting through, Nanocomposite.
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