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A New Purification Technique for Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Interaction with Alkali and Oxygen

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In this work we present a purification technique for oxygen removal from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) at relatively low temperature monitored by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and electrical characterization (change in resistance). We dope the sample with alkali metal (Na, K and Cs), which successively bind with the residual impurities of oxygen. The removal of the so formed oxides occur by heating the sample at relatively low temperatures (500–600 °C) without collateral damage to CNTs mat. In particular we investigate the in situ intercalation of alkali in SWNT followed by oxygen adsorption monitored by DC resistance measurements and X-ray photo-spectroscopy (XPS), demonstrating that the alkali intercalation in the samples trigger the oxygen adsorption. A subsequent sample heating at 500 °C removes both oxygen and alkali. Furthermore, the amount of the oxygen removal depends upon the deposited alkali species: in effect only with Na and K we obtain a complete oxygen removal, while other alkalis probably do not intercalate properly inside the nanotube walls. We hypothesize that the atomic radius of alkali can affect the intercalation properties of them inside the CNT structure.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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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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