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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Feb 25;131(7):2454-5. doi: 10.1021/ja8096674.

Optical characterizations and electronic devices of nearly pure (10,5) single-walled carbon nanotubes.

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Department of Chemistry and Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


It remains an elusive goal to achieve high-performance single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) field-effect transistors (FETs) composed of only single-chirality SWNTs. Many separation mechanisms have been devised and various degrees of separation demonstrated, yet it is still difficult to reach the goal of total fractionation of a given nanotube mixture into its single-chirality components. Chromatography has been reported to separate small SWNTs (diameter < or = 0.9 nm) according to their diameter, chirality, and length. The separation efficiency decreased with increasing tube diameter when the ssDNA sequence d(GT)(n) (n = 10-45) was used. Here we report our results on the separation of single-chirality (10,5) SWNTs (diameter = 1.03 nm) from HiPco tubes using ion-exchange chromatography. The separation efficiency was improved by using the new DNA sequence (TTTA)(3)T, which can recognize SWNTs with the specific chirality (10,5). The chirality of the separated tubes was examined by optical absorption, Raman, photoluminescence excitation/emission, and electrical transport measurements. All of the spectroscopic methods gave a single peak of (10,5) tubes. The purity was 99% according to the electrical measurement. The FETs composed of separated SWNTs in parallel gave an I(on)/I(off) ratio up to 10(6) due to the single-chirality-enriched (10,5) tubes. This is the first time that SWNT FETs with single-chirality SWNTs have been achieved. The chromatography method has the potential to separate even larger diameter semiconducting SWNTs from other starting materials to further improve the performance of the SWNT FETs.

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