Controlled multi-step purification of single-walled carbon nanotubes
Smalley, Richard E.
Master of Science
A controlled and scalable multi-step purification method has been developed to remove iron impurity and non-nanotube carbon materials from raw single-walled carbon nanotubes produced in the HiPco (high pressure CO) process. In this study, iron nanoparticles, coated by carbon, are exposed and oxidized by multiple step oxidation at increasing temperatures. To avoid catalytic oxidation by iron oxide of carbon nanotubes, the exposed and oxidized iron oxide is deactivated by reaction with C2H2F4 or SF6. The iron fluorides are removed by a soxhlet extraction with a 6M HCl solution. The purity and quality of each sample were determined by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectrometry, ultraviolet-visible-near-IR (UV-vis-near-IR) spectrometry, fluorescence spectrometry and transmission electron microscope (TEM) spectroscopy. The purity and yield of SWNT are improved due to reduced catalytic activity of the iron oxide. Greater iron oxide removal also resulted from oxidation at higher temperatures.
Electronics; Electrical engineering; Engineering; Materials science