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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Mar 26;125(12):3617-21.

Covalent sidewall functionalization of single wall carbon nanotubes.

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  • 1Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice Quantum Institute, Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.


Alkyllithium reagents may be used to attach alkyl groups to the sidewalls of fluoro nanotubes. Thermal gravimetric analysis combined with UV-vis-Nir spectroscopy has been used to provide a quantitative measure of the degree of functionalization. SWNTs prepared using the HiPco process exhibit a higher degree of alkylation than SWNTs from the laser-oven method, indicating that the smaller diameter fluoro tubes are alkylated more readily. The spectral signature of the pristine SWNTs can be regenerated when the alkylated SWNTs are heated in Ar at 500 degrees C, demonstrating that dealkylation occurs at this temperature. TGA-MS analysis using a sample of n-butylated h-SWNTs showed that 1-butene and n-butane are formed during thermolysis.

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