Nano Research

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 69–77 | Cite as

Isolation of single-walled carbon nanotube enantiomers by density differentiation

  • Alexander A. Green
  • Matthew C. Duch
  • Mark C. HersamEmail author
Open Access
Research Article


Current methods of synthesizing single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) result in racemic mixtures that have impeded the study of left- and right-handed SWNTs. Here we present a method of isolating different SWNT enantiomers using density gradient ultracentrifugation. Enantiomer separation is enabled by the chiral surfactant sodium cholate, which discriminates between left- and right-handed SWNTs and thus induces subtle differences in their buoyant densities. This sorting strategy can be employed for simultaneous enrichment by handedness and roll-up vector of SWNTs having diameters ranging from 0.7 to 1.5 nm. In addition, circular dichroism of enantiomer refined samples enables identification of high-energy optical transitions in SWNTs.


Carbon nanotube separation handedness enantiomer optical activity chirality 

Supplementary material

12274_2009_9006_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (290 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 292 KB.


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander A. Green
    • 1
  • Matthew C. Duch
    • 1
  • Mark C. Hersam
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of ChemistryNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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