Separation of Specific Single-Enantiomer Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes in the Large-Diameter Regime

The enantiomer-level isolation of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in high concentration and with high purity for nanotubes greater than 1.1 nm in diameter is demonstrated using a two-stage aqueous two-phase extraction (ATPE) technique. In total, five different nanotube species of ∼1.41 nm diameter are isolated, including both metallics and semiconductors. We characterize these populations by absorbance spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, resonance Raman spectroscopy, and photoluminescence mapping, revealing and substantiating mod-dependent optical dependencies. Using knowledge of the competitive adsorption of surfactants to the SWCNTs that controls partitioning within the ATPE separation, we describe an advanced acid addition methodology that enables the fine control of the separation of these select nanotubes. Furthermore, we show that endohedral filling is a previously unrecognized but important factor to ensure a homogeneous starting material and further enhance the separation yield, with the best results for alkane-filled SWCNTs, followed by empty SWCNTs, with the intrinsic inhomogeneity of water-filled SWCNTs causing them to be worse for separations. Lastly, we demonstrate the potential use of these nanotubes in field-effect transistors.