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Nat Nanotechnol. 2007 Oct;2(10):640-6. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.290. Epub 2007 Sep 16.

Highly selective dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes using aromatic polymers.

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Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU, UK.


Solubilizing and purifying carbon nanotubes remains one of the foremost technological hurdles in their investigation and application. We report a dramatic improvement in the preparation of single-walled carbon nanotube solutions based on the ability of specific aromatic polymers to efficiently disperse certain nanotube species with a high degree of selectivity. Evidence of this is provided by optical absorbance and photoluminescence excitation spectra, which show suspensions corresponding to up to approximately 60% relative concentration of a single species of isolated nanotubes with fluorescence quantum yields of up to 1.5%. Different polymers show the ability to discriminate between nanotube species in terms of either diameter or chiral angle. Modelling suggests that rigid-backbone polymers form ordered molecular structures surrounding the nanotubes with n-fold symmetry determined by the tube diameter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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