Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) can be successfully cut with relatively homogeneous sizes using a planetary mill. The optimized conditions produce highly dispersible SWNTs that can be efficiently functionalized in a variety of synthetic ways. As clearly shown by Raman spectroscopy, the milling/cutting procedure compares very favorably with the most common way of purifying SWNTs, namely, treatment with strong oxidizing acids. Moreover a similar milling process can be used to functionalize and cut pristine SWNTs by one-step nitrene chemistry.
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