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Nano Lett. 2013 May 8;13(5):1996-2003. doi: 10.1021/nl400128m. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

High-efficiency single-chirality separation of carbon nanotubes using temperature-controlled gel chromatography.

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  • 1Nanosystem Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8562, Japan.


We report the use of temperature-controlled gel chromatography for the high-efficiency single-chirality separation of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). This new method uses temperature to selectively control the interaction between the sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-wrapped SWCNTs and an allyl dextran-based gel. Temperature control enhances the differences in the interactions of various (n, m) SWCNTs with the gel, enabling the separation of high-purity (n, m) single-species in a single-step process. With this technique, we successfully sorted seven (n, m) single-species including (6, 4), (6, 5), (7, 5), (8, 3), (8, 4), (7, 6), and (8, 6) from raw HiPco-SWCNTs at a series of temperatures. Our technique offers the advantages of technical simplicity, low cost, and high yield, representing an important step toward the industrial-scale separation of single-chirality SWCNTs.

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