Enrichment of Metallic Carbon Nanotubes Using a Two-Polymer Extraction Method
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The large-scale enrichment of metallic carbon nanotubes is a challenging goal that has proven elusive. Selective dispersion of carbon nanotubes by specifically designed conjugated polymers is effective for isolating semiconducting species, but a comparable system does not exist for isolating metallic species. Here, we report a two-polymer system where semiconducting species are extracted from the raw HiPCO or plasma-torch nanotube starting material using an electron-rich poly(fluorene-co-carbazole) derivative, followed by isolation of the metallic species remaining in the residue using an electron-poor methylated poly(fluorene-co-pyridine) polymer. Characterization of the electronic nature of extracted samples was carried out via a combination of absorption, Raman, and fluorescence spectroscopy, as well as electrical conductivity measurements. Using this methodology, the metallic species in the sample were enriched 2-fold in comparison to the raw starting material. These results indicate that the use of electron-poor polymers is an effective strategy for the enrichment of metallic species.
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