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Enhanced Sidewall Functionalization of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Using Nitric Acid

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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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  • 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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