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ACS Nano. 2011 Jun 28;5(6):5132-40. doi: 10.1021/nn201224k. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Hydrogenation, purification, and unzipping of carbon nanotubes by reaction with molecular hydrogen: road to graphane nanoribbons.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Umeå University, S-90187 Umeå, Sweden. alexandr.talyzin@physics.umu.se


Reaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with hydrogen gas was studied in a temperature interval of 400-550 °C and at hydrogen pressure of 50 bar. Hydrogenation of nanotubes was observed for samples treated at 400-450 °C with about 1/3 of carbon atoms forming covalent C-H bonds, whereas hydrogen treatment at higher temperatures (550 °C) occurs as an etching. Unzipping of some SWNTs into graphene nanoribbons is observed as a result of hydrogenation at 400-550 °C. Annealing in hydrogen gas at elevated conditions for prolonged periods of time (72 h) is demonstrated to result also in nanotube opening, purification of nanotubes from amorphous carbon, and removal of carbon coatings from Fe catalyst particles, which allows their complete elimination by acid treatment.

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