Carbon nanostructures

Carbon nanostructures is a very interesting and large group with such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. One of the interesting features of carbon nanotubes and graphene derivatives is their high specific surface area, which might exceed 1000 m2/g. It means, that total surface of 1 g of such materials could cover the surface of two tennis courts. This attribute allows to use such materials as adsorbents. Adsorbents are materials characterized by large specific surface area, which attracts other materials or particles to their surface by non-chemical bonds. These materials are often modified to adsorb more selectively, for example heavy metal cations. Combination of carbon nanostructures with phosphonic acid derivatives should enhance their adsorption capacity. Therefore, we proposed different methods for phosphonylation of carbonaceous nanostructures, including free-radical reaction and mechano-chemical synthesis. We believe, that nanostructures functionalized with phosphonic groups will show higher sorption ability towards heavy metal cations and alkaline earth metal ions, because of the high affinity of phosphonic groups to those ions and well developed specific surface area. Moreover, exceptional structure of carbon nanotubes and graphene favors adsorption of aromatic compounds such as popular organic dyes. The so called decolorization of water is problematic, because of the diverse structure and chemical stability of common dyes. Carbonaceous nanomaterials show high sorption ability of dyes, caused by interactions between molecules and nanostructure walls. High surface area, negative polarization due to hydrolysis of phosphonic groups makes the phosphonated carbonaceous nanostructures attractive for cationic dyes removal from wastewaters.

The aim of this work is the  preparation  of  novel materials, focusing on their adsorption properties. However, functionalization of carbonaceous nanomaterials with phosphonic groups offers great potential for wider applications, for example in catalysis, materials engineering and biomedical engineering.

In order to realize her project Dr inż. Kamila Żelechowska received a financial support from the Polish National Science Centre.


Ph.D., Eng. Zelechowska Kamila, e-mail:, phone: +48 58 348 66 16