Progress towards total structure control in SWCNT populations

J. Fagan
National Institute of Standards and Technology,
United States

Keywords: carbon nanotube, separation

Summary:

As-synthesized single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) populations contain substantial distributions of SWCNT structures, including in the distribution of species ((n,m) chiralities) and enantiomers (i.e. the handedness of the lattice vector), as well as in their lengths, modifications to the pristine lattice, and environmental factors such as the endohedral filler. A driving challenge for the field is the scaled separation of these polydisperse materials into homogenous populations to enable optimal application. Multiple technologies and strategies have been developed over the last decade to address this challenge, however total structure control is still a work in progress. In my lab we are demonstrating the power of the aqueous two-phase extraction (ATPE) method to resolve SWCNTs by their metallic/semiconducting nature, diameter and even their enantiomeric handedness. This technique, which can be readily applied to process bench scale quantities of well specified SWCNTs, and combined with other separation schemes for length and filler specification, holds promise for providing long desired materials for application development. An overview of the separation method and an update on its development and incorporation into a larger strategy of separation will be presented.