Process for purifying single-wall carbon nanotubes and compositions thereof
AuthorSmalley, Richard E.; Hauge, Robert H.; Chiang, Wan-Ting
The present invention relates to a process for the purification of single-wall carbon nanotubes and the purified single-wall carbon nanotube material. Known methods of single-wall carbon nanotube production result in a single-wall carbon nanotube product that contains single-wall carbon nanotubes in addition to impurities including residual metal catalyst particles and amounts of small amorphous carbon sheets that surround the catalyst particles and appear on the sides of the single-wall carbon nanotubes and “ropes” of single-wall carbon nanotubes. The purification process removes the extraneous carbon as well as metal-containing residual catalyst particles. The process employs steps including a gas-phase oxidation of the amorphous carbon and subsequent liquid-phase reaction of a halogen-containing acid with the metal-containing species. Optionally, the single-wall carbon nanotube material may be annealed dry or in the presence of moisture. The present invention provides a scalable means for producing high-purity single-wall carbon nanotube material.
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