Phase transfer catalysts drive diverse organic solvent solubility of single-walled carbon nanotubes helically wrapped by ionic, semiconducting polymers.


Journal Article

Use of phase transfer catalysts such as 18-crown-6 enables ionic, linear conjugated poly[2,6-{1,5-bis(3-propoxysulfonicacidsodiumsalt)}naphthylene]ethynylene (PNES) to efficiently disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in multiple organic solvents under standard ultrasonication methods. Steady-state electronic absorption spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveal that these SWNT suspensions are composed almost exclusively of individualized tubes. High-resolution TEM and AFM data show that the interaction of PNES with SWNTs in both protic and aprotic organic solvents provides a self-assembled superstructure in which a PNES monolayer helically wraps the nanotube surface with periodic and constant morphology (observed helical pitch length = 10 ± 2 nm); time-dependent examination of these suspensions indicates that these structures persist in solution over periods that span at least several months. Pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy reveals that the excited state lifetimes and exciton binding energies of these well-defined nanotube-semiconducting polymer hybrid structures remain unchanged relative to analogous benchmark data acquired previously for standard sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS)-SWNT suspensions, regardless of solvent. These results demonstrate that the use of phase transfer catalysts with ionic semiconducting polymers that helically wrap SWNTs provide well-defined structures that solubulize SWNTs in a wide range of organic solvents while preserving critical nanotube semiconducting and conducting properties.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Deria, P; Sinks, LE; Park, T-H; Tomezsko, DM; Brukman, MJ; Bonnell, DA; Therien, MJ

Published Date

  • October 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 4192 - 4199

PubMed ID

  • 20809609

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20809609

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-6992

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-6984

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/nl102540c


  • eng