Separation of metallic and semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes through fluorous chemistry
Separation of metallic from semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes has been a major challenge for some time and some previous efforts have resulted in partial success. We have accomplished the separation effectively by employing fluorous chemistry wherein the diazonium salt of 4-heptadecafluorooc tylaniline selectively reacts with the metallic nanotubes present in the mixture of nanotubes. The resulting fluoroderivative was extracted in perfluorohexane leaving the semiconducting nanotubes in the aqueous layer. The products have been characterized by both Raman and electronic absorption spectroscopy. The method avoids the cumbersome centrifugation step required by some other procedures.