CdS nanoparticles were synthesized by sonication from cadmium chloride and thiourea using a multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-maleic anhydride (MA)-1-octene system as the matrix. The matrix was obtained by the "grafting from" approach from oxidized carbon nanotubes and maleic anhydride-1-octene. Multiwall carbon nanotubes used for reinforcing the matrix were synthesized by Catalytic Chemical Vapor Deposition using Fe-Co/Al2O3 as the catalyst. The obtained nanostructures were characterized by FTIR, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, TEM, SEM and UV-vis spectroscopy. The average CdS particle diameter was 7.9 nm as confirmed independently by TEM and XRD. UV-vis spectroscopy revealed that the obtained nanostructure is an appropriate base material for making optical devices. The novelty of this work is the use of the MWCNT-MA-1-octene matrix obtained via the "grafting from" approach for the synthesis of uniformly dispersed CdS nanocrystals by ultrasonic cavitation to obtain a polymer nanocomposite. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.