Selective synthesis combined with chemical separation of single-walled carbon nanotubes for chirality selection

J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Dec 26;129(51):15770-1. doi: 10.1021/ja077886s. Epub 2007 Dec 5.


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are potential materials for future nanoelectronics. Since the electronic and optical properties of SWNTs strongly depend on tube diameter and chirality, obtaining SWNTs with narrow (n,m) chirality distribution by selective growth or chemical separation has been an active area of research. Here, we demonstrate that a new, bimetallic FeRu catalyst affords SWNT growth with narrow diameter and chirality distribution in methane CVD. At 600 degrees C, methane CVD on FeRu catalyst produced predominantly (6,5) SWNTs according to UV-vis-NIR absorption and photoluminescence excitation/emission (PLE) spectroscopic characterization. At 850 degrees C, the dominant semiconducting species produced are (8,4), (7,6), and (7,5) SWNTs, with much narrower distributions in diameter and chirality than materials grown by other catalysts. Further, we show that narrow diameter/chirality growth combined with chemical separation by ion exchange chromatography (IEC) greatly facilitates achieving single (m,n) SWNT samples, as demonstrated by obtaining highly enriched (8,4) SWNTs with near elimination of metallic SWNTs existing in the as-grown material.