Wednesday, March 19, 2008

US Patent 7344691 - Manipulating carbon nanotubes with solid organic material

In order to create a variety of new single walled nanotube (SWNT) chemistries it is useful to cut SWNTs into smaller segments. Techniques exist to perform such cutting using abrasive materials but it can then be difficult to separate the abrasive material from the SWNTs. This patent from Zyvex (priority 2001) teaches using solid organic material such as cyclodextrin for such cutting which provides easier separation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manipulating single-walled carbon nanotubes comprising: presenting a solid organic material to a plurality of single-walled nanotubes; and using said solid organic material to manipulate said plurality of nanotubes, wherein said plurality of nanotubes are manipulated by at least one of: (a) dispersing at least a portion of said plurality of nanotubes; (b) dissolving at least a portion of said plurality of nanotubes in a solvent; and (c) functionalizing at least a portion of said plurality of nanotubes.

The corresponding scientific paper can be found here.

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