Length amplification of single walled carbon nanotubes for the enrichment of chiral specific nanotubes

A.W. Orbaek, A.R. Barron
Rice University, US

Keywords: armchair nanotube, bulk synthesis, chirality, characterization

Summary:

At Rice University there is a large body of work relating to the development of an “Armchair Quantum Wire”. This would be composed of armchair SWNTs spun into a fiber, that could span global distances. With the intention of alleviating a future energy crisis, by making use of these highly conductive materials to cut the loss of energy when being transmitted. Recently we reported on the use of pre-formed nanotubes that act as templates for further growth, essentially these nanotubes undergo length amplification. We demonstrated a capacity with up to 90% efficiency. In completing this work several interesting points were learned about nanotubes with respect to nucleation, growth, and characterization. Our samples were created such that the SWNTs are synthesized within a silica matrix, this leads to the possibility to characterize nanotubes that are not subject to post-processing and often damaging measures, that are normally required for incorporating SWNTs in a silica matrix.