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Functionalization of Pristine, Metallic, and Semiconducting-SWCNTs by ZnO for Efficient Charge Carrier Transfer: Analysis through Critical Coagulation Concentration

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2022, 14:06 authored by Debika Devi Thongam, Harsh Chaturvedi
Noncovalent functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) by semiconducting oxides is a majorly sought technique to retain individual properties while creating a synergetic effect for an efficient heterostructure charge transfer. Three types of electronically and optically different SWCNTs: metallic (m), semiconducting (s), and pristine (p) are functionalized by ZnO using a facile sonication method. The physicochemical and morphological properties of the ZnO-functionalized SWCNTs, m-SWCNT+ZnO, s-SWCNT+ZnO, and p-SWCNT+ZnO, are analyzed by advanced characterization techniques. Evidence of charge transfer between SWCNT and ZnO is observed with an increase in charge carrier lifetime from 3.31 ns (ZnO) to 4.76 ns (s-SWCNT+ZnO). To investigate the optimum interaction between SWCNTs and ZnO, critical coagulation concentrations (CCC) are determined using UV–vis absorption spectroscopy for m-SWCNT, s-SWCNT, and p-SWCNT using different molar concentrations of ZnO as the coagulant. The interaction and coagulation mechanisms are described by the modified DLVO theory. Due to the variation in dielectric values and electronic properties of SWCNTs, the CCC values obtained have differed: m-SWCNT (1.9 × 10–4), s-SWCNT (3.4 × 10–4), and p-SWCNT (2 × 10–4). An additional analysis of the aggregates and supernatants of the CCC experiments is also shown to give an insight into the interaction and coagulation processes, explaining the absence of influence exerted by sedimentation and centrifugation.