Controllable Synthesis of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Framework Membranes and Capsules

Research areas:
  • Uncategorized
Year: 2009
Type of Publication: Article
  • Changsik Song, Jae-Hee Han Taeyun Kwon
Journal: Nano Letters Volume: 9
Number: 12 Pages: 4279-4284
Month: DEC 2009
PT: J; TC: 5; UT: WOS:000272395400055
Controlling the morphology of membrane components at the nanometer scale is central to many next-generation technologies in water purification, gas separation, fuel cell, and nanofiltration applications. Toward this end, we report the covalent assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) into three-dimensional framework materials with intertube pores controllable by adjusting the size of organic linker molecules. The frameworks are fashioned into multilayer membranes possessing linker spacings from 1.7 to 3.0 nm, and the resulting framework films were characterized, including transport properties. Nanoindentation measurements by atomic force microscopy show that the spring constant of the SWNT framework film (22.6 +/- 1.2 N/m) increased by a factor of 2 from the control value (10.4 +/- 0.1 N/m). The flux ratio comparison in a membrane-permeation experiment showed that larger spacer sizes resulted in larger pore structures. This synthetic method was equally efficient on silica microspheres, which could then be etched to create all-SWNT framework, hollow capsules approximately 5 mu m in diameter. These hollow capsules are permeable to organic and inorganic reagents, allowing one to form inorganic nanoparticles, for example, that become entrapped within the capsule. The ability to encapsulate functional nanomaterials inside perm-selective SWNT cages and membranes may find applications in new adsorbents, novel catalysts, and drug delivery vehicles.