From complexity to homogeneity by sorting mixtures of single-walled carbon nanotubes

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Dawid Janas
Functional Nanomaterials Group, Department of Chemistry, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
Karolina Milowska
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From complexity to homogeneity by sorting mixtures of single-walled carbon nanotubes
Dawid Janas

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), beyond doubt, are among the most vigorously researched materials of our times. Due to their peculiar properties, they have been envisioned as critical components of many future technologies, the development of which is necessary to advance our civilization. However, because of the structural diversity of carbon, these materials are commonly obtained as SWCNT blends, which hampers their implementation in real life. Therefore, establishing effective purification strategies is a pressing issue.

This talk will report our recent breakthroughs in differentiating single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Firstly, through a thorough examination of the aqueous two-phase extraction method, we managed to enhance the resolution of the system, exceeding the level of 0.1 nm. Consequently, we isolated single types of SWCNTs, such as (6,5) and (6,4), from mixtures containing >30 types of SWCNTs. Secondly, by using self-synthesized conjugated polymers, we improved the conjugated polymer extraction performance, enabling facile sorting of SWCNTs in organic solvents. As a result, we harvested (7,3) SWCNTs, the smallest ever type in an organic medium. Notably, the application of a concept of mixed-solvent engineering enabled us to reach both high selectivity and efficiency of the separation process. The presentation will disclose the identified underlying interactions at the nanoscale leading to this success.