, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 2163-2170
Date: 31 Jul 2009

Non-covalent interaction of benzonitrile with single-walled carbon nanotubes

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We have studied the interaction of benzonitrile with as-prepared and purified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). As-prepared SWCNTs, when suspended in benzonitrile, lead to a red colored dispersion which contains fragments composed mostly of amorphous carbon and carbon-coated catalyst, thus suggesting that benzonitrile is a solvent that can be used as one step of the purification process. Optical spectroscopic data (infrared, Raman, absorption) showed that purified carbon nanotubes interact weakly with benzonitrile. These experimental results are confirmed by first principles calculations that predict a very weak adsorption process through π–π interaction instead of through the free electron pair of the nitrile.