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Anal Chem. 2005 Feb 15;77(4):1183-7.

Preconcentration of volatile organics on self-assembled, carbon nanotubes in a microtrap.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA.


This paper reports the self-assembly of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the inside wall of a steel capillary to fabricate a microtrap for the adsorption/desorption of trace organics. The microtrap functioned as a nanoconcentrator and an injector for gas chromatography (GC). The CNTs were deposited as a thin film by catalytic chemical vapor deposition from either CO or C2H4 as the precursor. The sorbent film synthesized from C2H4-CVD (CVD = chemical vapor deposition) had higher CNT density and thus was a stronger sorbent. In general, the CNT microtraps showed high-capacity adsorption and fast quantitative desorption, and the process showed excellent precision. This study demonstrates that CNT films can be deposited quite easily in a steel capillary for use in different analytical applications, and CNT films can perform as efficiently as packed-bed carbon sorbents.

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