Synthesis and characterization of water-soluble carbon nanotubes from mustard soot
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Carbon nanotubes (CNT) has been synthesized by pyrolysing mustard oil using an oil lamp. It was made water-soluble (wsCNT) through oxidative treatment by dilute nitric acid and was characterized by SEM, AFM, XRD, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy. The synthesized wsCNT showed the presence of several junctions and defects in it. The presence of curved graphene structure (sp2) with frequent sp3 hybridized carbon is found to be responsible for the observed defects. These defects along with the presence of di- and tri-podal junctions showed interesting magnetic properties of carbon radicals formed by spin frustration. This trapped carbon radical showed ESR signal in aqueous solution and was very stable even under drastic treatment by strong oxidizing or reducing agents. Oxidative acid treatment of CNT introduced several carboxylic acid group functionalities in wsCNT along with the nicking of the CNT at different lengths with varied molecular weight. To evaluate molecular weights of these wsCNTs, an innovative method like gel electrophoresis using high molecular weight DNA as marker was introduced.
KeywordsWater-soluble carbon nanotubes mustard soot functionalization with hydrophilic groups multipodal junctions gel electrophoresis molecular weight of wsCNT
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