Effect of Single-walled Carbon Nanotube (SWCNT) Composition on Polyfluorene-Based SWCNT Dispersion Selectivity
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Applications of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are hampered by the mixtures of metallic and semiconducting SWCNTs that are present in commercial samples. Separation of SWCNTs according to electronic type is therefore extremely important. Recently, the selective interaction between the conjugated polymer, poly(9,9-di-n-dodecyl-fluorenyl-2,7-diyl) and semiconducting SWCNTs has been reported. However, the mechanism responsible for this selectivity is poorly understood. To determine whether this polymer is only selective for semiconducting SWCNTs, we exposed it to mixtures of metallic and semiconducting SWCNTs in different ratios. We found that the polymer is indeed selective for semiconducting SWCNTs in toluene, but only when the starting ratio is below 67:33 metallic:semiconducting. When the starting ratio is increased to 67:33 or higher, the amount of metallic SWCNTs dispersed dramatically increases. If the solvent is changed to THF, the threshold ratio at which metallic SWCNTs begin to be dispersed is much lower. This indicates that the polymer exhibits a preference for interaction with semiconducting SWCNTs, but is not precluded from interaction with metallic SWCNTs if exposed to a high enough concentration.
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