Enhancing single-wall carbon nanotube properties through controlled endohedral filling†
Chemical control of the endohedral volume of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) via liquid-phase filling is established to be a facile strategy to controllably modify properties of SWCNTs in manners significant for processing and proposed applications. Encapsulation of over 20 different compounds with distinct chemical structures, functionalities, and effects is demonstrated in SWCNTs of multiple diameter ranges, with the ability to fill the endohedral volume based on the availability of the core volume and compatibility of the molecule's size with the cross-section of the nanotube's cavity. Through exclusion of ingested water and selection of the endohedral chemical environment, significant improvements to the optical properties of dispersed SWCNTs such as narrowed optical transition linewidths and enhanced fluorescence intensities are observed. Examples of tailoring modified properties towards applications or improved processing by endohedral passivation are discussed.