Clean Technology 2009

Dynamic oxidation: An easily scalable technique to produce analytically pure carbon nanotubes

N. Dementev, E. Borguet
Temple University, US

Keywords: Nanotubes, purification, analytically pure


In order to fully exploit the outstanding properties of carbon nanotubes, the raw material has to be purified to eliminate metallic particles and non-nanotube carbonaceous matter. However, all of the purification strategies used so far have failed to produce analytically pure material without significant destruction and/or damage of the nanotube. Here, we describe a novel purification technique based on the selective burning of carbonaceous impurities present in raw carbon nanotubes via the programmed heating of the raw material in the presence of air. Properly chosen oxidizing conditions provide almost complete elimination of carbon impurities from the material. The high purity and nearly intact structure of the carbon nanotubes, thus obtained by dynamic oxidation, were characterized by three independent techniques (UV-VIS-nearIR, Raman, Transmission Electron Microscopy). This purification method can be easily scaled up to meet industrial needs. Advantages • Does NOT require fine control of the temperature • Yields are reproducible • Does not destroy/damage nanotubes Intellectual Property US Provisional Patent Application has been filed.
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