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Nano Lett. 2009 Apr;9(4):1497-500. doi: 10.1021/nl8034866.

Simple and scalable gel-based separation of metallic and semiconducting carbon nanotubes.

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  • 1Nanotechnology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Ibaraki, Japan.


We report a rapid and scalable method for the separation of metallic and semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs); the separation is performed by the selective adsorption of semiconducting SWCNTs on agarose gel. The most effective separation was realized by a simple procedure in which a piece of gel containing SWCNTs and sodium dodecyl sulfate was frozen, thawed, and squeezed. This process affords a solution containing 70% pure metallic SWCNTs and leaves a gel containing 95% pure semiconducting SWCNTs. Field-effect transistors constructed from the separated semiconducting SWCNTs have been demonstrated to function without any electrical breakdown.

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