Recovered Bandgap Absorption of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Acetone and Alcohols


  • The authors acknowledge funding from the Focus Center New York for Electronic Interconnects at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and NSF-NSEC at RPI for directed assembly of nanostructures. Angel Rubio was supported by the European Community Research Training Networks NANOPHASE (HPRN-CT-2000-00167), COMELCAN (HPRN-CT-2000-00128), M-DNA (IST-2001-38051), Spanish MCyT (MAT2001-0946), and the University of the Basque Country (9/UPV 00206.215-13639/2001). Peter Persans thanks the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (grant DE-FG0297ER455662).


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The bandgap optical absorption of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) is significantly enhanced by acetone and alcohols. Based on their ability to strip off adsorbates from the nanotube surfaces, these solvents can almost fully recover the optical absorption (see Figure). The distinct absorption recovery can be used to characteristically distinguish a variety of organic solvents, and may find application in chemical sensors.