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The Challenge of Separating and Sorting Carbon Nanotubes after Production - Current production methods for carbon nanotubes result in units with different diameter, length, chirality and electronic properties, all packed together in bundles, and often blended with some amount of amorphous carbon.
The Challenge of Separating and Sorting Carbon Nanotubes after Production

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Honolulu, HI, United States, 2006/08/21 - Current production methods for carbon nanotubes result in units with different diameter, length, chirality and electronic properties, all packed together in bundles, and often blended with some amount of amorphous carbon..

   
 
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The separation of nanotubes according to desired properties remains a technical challenge. Especially single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) sorting is a challenge because the composition and chemical properties of SWCNTs of different types are very similar, making conventional separation techniques inefficient.

The separation techniques for SWCNTs explored to date rely on preferential electron transfer on metallic SWCNTs treated with diazonium salts, dielectrophoresis, enhanced chemical affinity of semiconducting SWCNTs with octadecylamine, and wrapping of SWCNTs with single-stranded DNA. The selectivity of these methods can be further enhanced by vigorous centrifugation of prepared dispersions and the use of ion-exchange chromatography.

An electrophoretic approach to SWCNT sorting has been proposed by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). They showed that nanotubes with different spectroscopic properties possess different electrophoretic mobilities.
Dr. Alexandre Vetcher, currently working in National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases at George Mason University, explains the new technique to Nanowerk: "We demonstrated that aqueous SWCNT dispersions, prepared with the aid of nucleic acids (RNA or DNA), can separate into fractions using agarose gel electrophoresis. The SWCNTs moved in the direction of positive potential to form well-defined bands. Raman spectroscopy as a function of band position showed that nanotubes having different spectroscopic properties possess different electrophoretic mobilities."

Parallel elution of the SWCNT/DNA and SWCNT/RNA complexes from the gel during electrophoresis and subsequent characterization by atomic force microscope revealed differences in nanotube diameter, length and curvature.

Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.

About Nanowerk
Nanowerk is a leading nanotechnology information portal. Apart from its unique Nanomaterial Database™, with over 1,300 products from 90 suppliers, it provides the most complete nanotech events calendar; hundreds of links to universities, labs, researchers, associations, networks and international initiatives involved in nanotechnology; daily news; downloadable reports; and much more. The site includes a daily “Spotlight” section featuring Nanowerk-exclusive reviews and summaries of cutting-edge nanotechnology research by guest authors and Nanowerk editors. Nanowerk also publishes the nanoRISK newsletter – a constructive contribution to the debate about the potential risks of nanotechnology.

By Michael Berger, Copyright 2006 Nanowerk LLC

 
 
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The Challenge of Separating and Sorting Carbon Nanotubes after Production

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Publisher Contact: Michael Berger - Nanowerk.com 
1-808-741-1739 michael[.]nanowerk.com
 
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