A Novel Approach in Sorting Chirality Species of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Based on an Aqueous Two-Phase System of Polymer-Salt.


Department of Chemical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran. [Email]


Sorting of distinct (n, m) chirality species of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) is essential for progress in technical applications in the field of electronic and optic devices. The purpose of this study is to investigate the isolation of single-wall carbon nanotubes based on diameters/chirality in a polymer-salt (polyethylene glycol and sodium citrate) aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) a substitute for common polymer-polymer (polyethylene glycol and dextran) system. The ATPS based on polymer-salt used instead of the common polymer-polymer system due to low viscosity, reduced surface tension, and lower cost of sodium citrate compared to the dextran. For this purpose, the ratio of concentrations of polyethylene glycol to sodium citrate as well as the effect of temperature on the isolation are both investigated and the selectivity and the recovery estimated approximately. The absorbance spectra from both top and bottom phases at different polymer and salt contents and at different temperatures show that by using this system in optimal conditions of polymer to salt ratio of 2:1 at temperature of 20 °C, a suitable separation of nanotubes with 85% yield of the chiral groups of 9 and 10 can be obtained.

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