Theoretical Analysis of the Reactivity of Carbon Nanotubes: Local Versus Topological Effects
In carbon materials the mobile π electrons are situated in topologically different circumstances at edge sites, and their π electronic states, essentially controlled by the network structure of sp 2 carbon, may be significantly affected. In this work, we derived topological indications about the reactivity of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes with the hydroxyl radical (OH•), the most important oxidizing species in the troposphere. For each molecular structure, we computed the local softness, the Mulliken charges of the reacting carbons of (n,n) and (n,0) clusters, and their Huckel-type aromaticity rules, as an index to determine topologically independent sites and predicting a certain grade of reactivity of the nanotube and fullerenic carbon atoms. Using local softness, closely related to the energy gap, it was possible to separate the periodical nanotubes in three families according to their reactivity. A connection between the reactivity index ΔE and the topology was established by means of the Fukui integrated function. It resulted that for (n,0) clusters, odd n implies aromaticity, whereas even n, non-aromaticity; (n,n) clusters are in any case non-aromatic. For a better understanding of some experimental results, we also discussed how edge effects can influence topological reactivity due to the increment of the number of benzene rings in some cluster arrangements.
KeywordsReaction Energy Fukui Function Local Softness Chiral Vector Density Functional B3LYP Method
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