Validation of alkaline oxidation as a pre-treatment method for elemental quantification in single-walled carbon nanotubes†
Nanocarbons continue to stimulate the scientific community while their production has also started to reach the industrial scale. With the commercialization of products that are based on materials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), it has become imperative to implement reliable quality control protocols for the routine analysis of their chemical composition and structure. Herein, we propose alkaline oxidation (a.k.a., fusion) as a valuable approach to disintegrate the graphitic structure of carbon nanotubes. Using the certified reference material SWCNT-1, it was shown that fusion enables the subsequent determination of elemental concentrations (Ni, Co and Mo) by a routine analytical tool such as inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Furthermore, the fusion residues were investigated, clarifying that the process does not result in the formation of non-intentional carbon compounds (e.g., carbides or carbonates) or lattice doping (e.g., B doping or Li intercalation).
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analytical Methods Recent Open Access Articles