Carbon Nanotube Sorting via Molecular Interactions in Liquid Phases
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA
Chirality control is one of the most challenging problems in the carbon nanotube field. Over a decade ago, we and others began to explore separation of single-wall carbon nanotubes by exploiting chirality-dependent molecular interactions in liquid phases. By now, efforts from many groups around the world have resulted in a number of effective ways to achieve metal/semiconductor separation and single-chirality purification, enabling fundamental studies and application development. In this presentation, I will review various separation methods developed so far, discuss common physical mechanism underlying these methods, and highlight a polymer-based liquid two-phase extract method we have recently reported (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, p6822; Adv. Mat. 2014, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201304873). I will give examples to illustrate the versatility of the new method, and provide an outlook for its future development to enable carbon nanotube-based applications.