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Solubilization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Using a Peptide Aptamer in Water below the Critical Micelle Concentration

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2015, 00:00 authored by Zha Li, Tomoshi Kameda, Takashi Isoshima, Eiry Kobatake, Takeshi Tanaka, Yoshihiro Ito, Masuki Kawamoto
The solubilizing ability of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in water with several dispersants was investigated. Among the dispersants, including low-molecular-weight surfactants, peptides, DNA, and a water-soluble polymer, the peptide aptamer, A2 (IFRLSWGTYFS), exhibited the highest dispersion capability below the critical micelle concentration at a concentration of 0.02 w/v%. The dispersion of supernatant aqueous solution of SWCNTs containing aptamer A2 was essentially unchanged for several months after high-speed ultracentrifugation and gave rise to an efficient and stable dispersion of the SWCNTs in water. From the results of isothermal titration calorimetry and molecular dynamics simulations, the effective binding capability of A2 was due to π–π interaction between aromatic groups in the peptide aptamer and the side walls of SWCNTs. Interestingly, the peptide aptamer showed the possibility of diameter separation of semiconducting SWCNTs using a uniform density gradient ultracentrifuge. These phenomena are encouraging results toward an effective approach to the dispersion and separation of SWCNTs.