In order to truly unlock advanced applications of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), one needs to separate them according to both chirality and handedness. Here we show that the chiral d-ribityl phosphate chain of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) induces a right-handed helix that enriches the left-handed SWNTs for all suspended (n,m) species. Such enantioselectivity stems from the sp3 hybridization of the N atom anchoring the sugar moiety to the flavin ring. This produces two FMN conformations (syn and anti) analogous to DNA. Electrostatic interactions between the neighboring uracil moiety and the 2′-OH group of the side chain provide greater stability to the anti-FMN conformation that leads to a right-handed FMN helix. The right-handed twist that the FMN helix imposes to the underlying nanotube, similar to "Indian burn", causes diameter dilation of only the left-handed SWNTs, whose improved intermolecular interactions with the overlaying FMN helix, impart enantioselection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry