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Purification of Single-Walled Boron Nitride Nanotubes and Boron Nitride Cages

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Continuous laser vaporization of a BN target under N2 atmosphere is up to now the unique route to single-walled boron nitride nanotubes (BN-SWNTs). Although grams of product can be obtained by this technique, the raw material contains in addition to the BN-SWNTs, different by-products made of boron and nitrogen. Since these materials are undesirable for the studying of the intrinsic properties of the nanotubes, we have undertaken a purification process using chemical and physical methods to separate the different components. We show here that most impurities can be removed by successive cycles of washing, sonication, and centrifugation. Furthermore, the two different types of boron nitride nanostructures i.e., BN-SWNTs and BN-cages can be isolated. Efficiency of the separation was monitored by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) at the different steps of the process. Finally, we envisage the further purification of the nanotubes-enriched fraction by functionalizing the nanotubes in a non covalent manner by specific polymers as for carbon nanotubes and BN multi-walled nanotubes.


Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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