Enhanced Sidewall Functionalization of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Using Nitric Acid
When a sample of as-made single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) is treated with nitric acid, oxidation debris are formed due to the functionalization (mainly carboxylation) of the amorphous carbon present in the sample and a continuous coating along the carbon nanotube walls is created preventing the sidewall functionalization of the SWNTs. This oxidation debris can be easily removed by an aqueous base wash leaving behind a sample with a low degree of functionality. After removal of the amorphous carbon (by steam purification) from a sample of as-made SWNTs, the resulting purified SWNTs are readily carboxylated on the walls by nitric acid treatment. The use of steam for the purification of SWNTs samples allows the removal of the amorphous carbon and graphitic layers coating the metal particles present in the sample without altering the tubular structure of the SWNTs. The exposed metal particles can then be easily removed by an acid wash. Comparison between the steam treatment and molten sodium hydroxide treatment is made.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-10-01
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