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Purity and Solubility of Nanotubes in Arc Discharge Carbon Powder

  • Jonathan N. Coleman (a1), Alan B. Dalton (a1), Brendan McCarthy (a1), Robert C. Barklie (a1) and Werner J. Blau (a1)...

Abstract

We have described a novel experimental technique to separate nanotubes from other unwanted carbon species in arc generated carbon soot. A conjugated polymer was used to bind to nanotubes in solution. The resultant hybrid was soluble while extraneous carbon material formed a sediment at the bottom of the sample bottle. This process was monitored using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) which showed that 63% of nanotubes were kept in solution while 98.1% of impurities were rejected. This allowed the calculation of the nanotube content in the carbon soot using EPR and thermo-gravitational analysis (TGA) yielding a purity value of 34% for the soot used in this study. This is compatible with estimates made using electron microscopy.

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