Industrial Single-Structure Separation of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes by Multicolumn Gel Chromatography
Single-structure single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with the same electronic types and band gaps are essential for their applications in the fields of electronics and optoelectronics. SWCNTs are usually grown in the mixture of various structures with diverse properties, hindering their practical application. To achieve single-structure SWCNTs, post-growth separation is an important route. Here we report a landmark separation method - multicolumn gel chromatography to separate single-structure SWCNTs (that is, single chirality) on a large scale. In this method, high-purity electronically different semiconducting SWCNTs can be well sorted across different columns by simply pouring excess amount of SWCNT-dispersion aqueous solution into a series of vertically connected gel columns. Metallic SWCNTs are collected as the unadsorbed species. With this technique, we successfully isolated 13 (n, m) single-chirality semiconducting species from HiPco-SWCNTs.
KeywordsCarbon nanotubes Separation Single structure Multicolumn gel chromatography
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