Tuesday, December 02, 2008

US Patent 7459137 - Solvent-free CNT functionalization


Due to molecular forces carbon nanotubes often bundle together making it necessary to include a solvent when functionalizing the nanoubes for applications such as biosensors. However, the requirement for solvent places a constraint on the type of environments and chemical reactions permitted for the functionalization. This patent from Rice University teaches methods of solvent-free functionalization of carbon nanotubes to expand the range of situations in which functionalization can occur. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for functionalizing carbon nanotubes comprising:

a) selecting a plurality of carbon nanotubes; and

b) reacting said plurality of carbon nanotubes at the sidewall carbon atoms with an organic functionalizing agent in the absence of a solvent.

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