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Nanotechnology. 2009 Apr 8;20(14):145705. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/14/145705. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

The electrochemical signature of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes bearing electroactive groups.

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  • 1LITEN/DTNM/LCRE, CEA-Grenoble 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble cedex 9, France.


We report the modification and characterization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in view of molecular sensing applications. We found that ultrasonicated SWCNTs present sticking properties that make them adhere on electrode surfaces. This allows excellent characterization of SWCNTs by cyclic voltammetry (CV) before and after chemical functionalization with diazonium salts bearing electroactive groups. Bare SWCNTs presented distinct invariant shapes in CV, used as control curves, in comparison with functionalized SWCNTs for which specific signatures corresponding to the presence of grafted molecules were identified. According to the electronic substituents in the para position of the diazonium salts, divergent behaviours were observed for the grafting reactions. Diazonium salts having electrowithdrawing groups could be grafted without electrochemical induction whereas those bearing electron donating groups required a cathodic potential to generate the formation of the radical species.

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