Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 11:50
Chesapeake E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) show promise as core materials for next-generation solar cells and nanoelectronic devices. However, most commercial SWNT production methods generate mixtures of metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs) and semiconducting SWNT (sc-SWNTs). Therefore, sc-SWNTs must be separated from their original mixtures before use. In this study, we investigated a polymer-based, noncovalent sc-SWNT separation approach, which is simple to perform and does not disrupt the electrical properties of the SWNTs, thus improving the performance of the corresponding sc-SWNT-based applications. By systematically investigating the effect that different structural features of the semiconductor polymers have on the separation of sc-SWNTs, we discovered that the length and configuration of the alkyl side chains and the rigidity of the backbone structure exert significant effects on the efficiency of sc-SWNT separation. We also found that electron transfer between the semiconducting polymers and sc-SWNTs is strongly affected by their energy-level alignment, which can be tailored by controlling the donor-acceptor configuration in the polymer backbone structures. Among the polymers investigated, the highly planar P8T2Z-C12 semiconducting polymer showed the best sc-SWNT separation efficiency and unprecedentedly strong electronic interaction with the sc-SWNTs, which is important for improving their performance in applications.