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Formylation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

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We report an improved, elegant method for the covalent formylation of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) via formyl transfer from N-formylpiperidine, which could potentially open the gateway for more versatile chemical modification of carbon nanotube (CNT) walls than is possible via other reported functionalisation methods. The formylation reaction does not inflict damage upon the pristine CNT structure, unlike the currently commonly used carboxylation route, and involves much fewer steps, and takes considerably less time, than most other reported routes. The modified SWNTs have been characterised by Raman spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-vis-NIR) spectroscopy and “covalent tagging” with derivatising groups followed by thermogravimetric analysis-mass spectroscopy (TGA-MS). UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy shows that there is only limited disruption of the intrinsic electronic structure of the SWNTs. This is confirmed from estimates of the extent of functionalisation from TGA-MS, which suggest that it may be as low as 2 atomic percent.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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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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