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Probing Carbon Nanotube–Surfactant Interactions with Two-Dimensional DOSY NMR

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journal contribution
posted on 08.05.2013, 00:00 by Tejas A. Shastry, Adam J. Morris-Cohen, Emily A. Weiss, Mark C. Hersam
Two-dimensional diffusion ordered spectroscopy (2D DOSY) NMR was used to probe the micellar structure of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and sodium cholate (SC) in aqueous solutions with and without semi­conducting and metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The solutions contain SDS and SC at weight ratios of 1:4 and 3:2, the ratios commonly used to isolate semi­conducting and metallic SWCNTs through density gradient ultra­centrifug­ation (DGU). These results show that the coverage of surfactant on the semi­conducting and metallic SWCNTs is nearly identical in the 1:4 surfactant mixture, and a lower degree of bundling is responsible for the greater buoyancy of semi­conducting SWCNTs. In the 3:2 surfactant mixture, the metallic SWCNTs are only encapsulated in SC while the semi­conducting SWCNTs remain encapsulated in a poorly packed two-surfactant micelle, leading to a large buoyant density difference between the electronic species. This work provides insight into future directions to increase the purity of semi­conducting and metallic SWCNTs sorted through DGU and demonstrates the utility of 2D DOSY NMR in probing SWCNT–surfactant complexes.