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Issue 3, 2013
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Selective removal of metal impurities from single walled carbon nanotube samples

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Abstract

Large scale production of high quality CNT samples is still challenging. The presence of structural defects and metallic particles in pristine single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) is responsible for the alteration of both their chemical stability and their magnetic and electrical properties. The commonly used purification procedures are based on multi-step treatments that are often too aggressive towards the CNTs, leading to disappointing yields. Here, we propose an alternative process that allows preparing high-quality and high-purity SWNT samples. The proposed process merely consists of heating up SWNT powder under high chlorine partial pressure and high temperature. These thermodynamic conditions favor high chlorine diffusion to metal impurities embedded in carbon shells thus inducing an avalanche process of metal chloride formation and sublimation. The purified samples have been characterized by transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, magnetic measurements and Raman spectroscopy. We show that the developed process combines selective elimination of catalytic impurities and high yields. More importantly, we show that this process preserves the quality of the resulting purified nanotubes.

Graphical abstract: Selective removal of metal impurities from single walled carbon nanotube samples

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Sep 2012, accepted on 02 Jan 2013 and first published on 04 Jan 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2NJ41057E
Citation: New J. Chem., 2013,37, 790-795
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    Selective removal of metal impurities from single walled carbon nanotube samples

    G. Mercier, C. Hérold, J. Marêché, S. Cahen, J. Gleize, J. Ghanbaja, G. Lamura, C. Bellouard and B. Vigolo, New J. Chem., 2013, 37, 790
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NJ41057E

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