Influence of structure-selective fluorene-based polymer wrapping on optical transitions of single-wall carbon nanotubes†
To understand how fluorene-based polymers selectively extract specific semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), we compared the optical transitions of SWCNTs wrapped with poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-pyridine) (PFOPy), i.e., structure-selective polymers, with those wrapped with poly(9,9-di-n-dodecylfluorene) (PFD), i.e., non-selective polymers, in organic solvents by using photoluminescence (PL) excitation spectroscopy. Two (n,m) species of PFOPy-wrapped SWCNTs with intermediate chiral angles exhibited blue-shifted emissions compared with the PFD-wrapped SWCNTs. The shifts in the peaks of PL signals cannot be explained in terms of the dielectric screening effect, but can plausibly be explained in terms of the strains of specific SWCNTs due to the PFOPy wrapping. Moreover, the emissions of specific SWCNTs wrapped with PFOPy were not blue-shifted as much when the solvent was changed from toluene to p-xylene, and this result could be accounted for by a change in the rigidity of the fluorene backbone. Moreover, using p-xylene instead of toluene lowered the selectivity of the SWCNT extraction, thereby suggesting the importance of having a rigid fluorene backbone for selective extraction of SWCNTs.