Sorting and transmission electron microscopy analysis of single or double wall carbon nanotubes

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Abstract

On the basis of the recent progress on the sorting of carbon nanotubes' structure with respect to their diameter or number of walls, we investigate by transmission electron microscopy the sorting efficiency, with a comparison with optical absorption spectroscopy measurements. We study density gradient ultracentrifugation sorted single walled or double walled carbon nanotubes, showing obviously the ability to separate carbon nanotubes of different diameters or/and number of walls. This microscopic approach affords accurate information about the sorted samples such as the real mean diameter, the relative concentration of double walled carbon nanotubes over single walled carbon nanotubes, standard deviation, and the real diameter distribution of carbon nanotubes, even beyond any possible accurate analysis from optical absorption spectroscopy. Therefore, we demonstrate that the diameter analysis of the sorted samples by TEM can indeed afford some information about the relevant optical properties of carbon nanotubes.

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