Isolation of Adsorbent-Free Long Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Using a Hydrogen-Bonding Supramolecular Polymer
The ideal form of semiconducting-single-walled carbon nanotubes (sem-SWNTs) for science and technology is long, defect-free, chirality pure and chemically pure isolated narrow diameter tubes. While various techniques to solubilize and purify sem-SWNTs have been developed, many of them targeted only chiral- or chemical-purity with sacrificing sem-SWNT intrinsic structural identities by applying long-time ultrasonication and/or chemical modifications.
Toward the ultimate purification of the sem-SWNTs, we report a mild-conditioned extraction of the sem-SWNTs using removable hydrogen-bonding supramolecular polymers (HBPs) that are consisted of dicarboxilic- or diaminopyridyl-fluorenes with ~70%-(8,6)SWNT selectivity. Replacing conventional strong sonication to a simple shaking using HPBs was found to provide a very low D/G ratio of the extracted sem-SWNTs with long (>2.0 μm) tubes, which wad determined by an atomic force microscopy observation. The HBPs were readily removed from the nanotube surfaces by an outer stimuli, such as change of solvent polarities, to provide chemically pure (8,6)-enriched sem-SWNTs. We also describe molecular mechanics calculations to provide a possible structure of the HBP-wrapped sem-SWNTs.
Such an efficient and easy extraction of the sem-SWNTs is a great advance in the chirality selective separation of SWNTs and the study is highly important since such advanced material is a promising nanomaterial in many applications.
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