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Protecting Carbon Nanotubes from Oxidation for Selective Carbon Impurity Elimination

Abstract : Purity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is essential to avoid a dramatic decrease in their performances. In addition to metallic impurities, carbonaceous impurities have been shown to be responsible for pronounced effects. However, they are highly difficult to be selectively removed from CNT samples because of the similar chemical reactivity of these two kinds of carbon species. The existing purification methods often lead to high CNT consumption (>90 wt %). The proposed method consists of a one-pot gas-phase treatment combining chlorine and oxygen. The CNT powder maintained in a chlorine stream is submitted to oxygen at moderate temperature [350 and 500 °C for single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) and double-walled CNTs (DWCNTs), respectively], and the thermal treatment is then pursued at 900–1000 °C under chlorine alone. Our work reveals that this approach is able to significantly improve the selectivity of elimination of carbonaceous impurities. Thanks to the proposed purification treatment, only 19 and 11 wt % of carbon species (mainly carbon impurities) are lost for DWCNTs and SWCNTs, respectively. The mechanism proposed involves a protective effect by grafting of chlorine favored to the CNT walls. Because our simple one-pot purification method is also versatile and scalable, it opens new perspectives for CNT applications in high-added value fields.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:52:17 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 11:07:42 AM

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Nawal Berrada, Alexandre Desforges, Christine Bellouard, Emmanuel Flahaut, Jérôme Gleize, et al.. Protecting Carbon Nanotubes from Oxidation for Selective Carbon Impurity Elimination. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, American Chemical Society, 2019, 123 (23), pp.14725-14733. ⟨10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b12554⟩. ⟨hal-02186871⟩

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