Advanced Materials

Towards Solutions of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Common Solvents

Authors

  • Shane D. Bergin,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Valeria Nicolosi,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Philip V. Streich,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics University of Wisconsin–Platteville Platteville, WI 53818 (USA)
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  • Silvia Giordani,

    1. School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Zhenyu Sun,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Alan H. Windle,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy University of Cambridge Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ (UK)
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  • Peter Ryan,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • N. Peter P. Niraj,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Zhi-Tao T. Wang,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • Leslie Carpenter,

    1. Dow Corning Corporation 3901 S. Saginaw Rd. Midland, MI 48640, (USA)
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  • Werner J. Blau,

    1. School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • John J. Boland,

    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
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  • James P. Hamilton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics University of Wisconsin–Platteville Platteville, WI 53818 (USA)
    • Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics University of Wisconsin–Platteville Platteville, WI 53818 (USA).
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  • Jonathan N. Coleman

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland)
    • Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin University of Dublin Dublin 2 (Ireland).
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  • Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.

Abstract

Spontaneous exfoliation of single-walled carbon nanotubes on dilution of dispersions in a common solvent, N-methyl-pyrrolidone, is demonstrated. The free-energy of mixing is negative, confirming athermal solubility. Scanning tunneling microscopy measurements show physisorption of the solvent to the nanotube (see figure). Experiments, supported by a simple model, show that successful solvents for nanotubes are those with surface tensions close to that of graphite.

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