Selection of carbon nanotubes with specific chiralities using helical assemblies of flavin mononucleotide

Sang Yong Ju, Jonathan Doll, Ity Sharma, Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

192 Citations (Scopus)


The chirality of single-walled carbon nanotubes affects many of their physical and electronic properties. Current production methods result in nanotubes of mixed chiralities, so facile extraction of specific chiralities of single-walled carbon nanotubes is an important step in their effective utilization. Here we show that the flavin mononucleotide, a common redox cofactor, wraps around single-walled carbon nanotubes in a helical pattern that imparts efficient individualization and chirality selection. The cooperative hydrogen bonding between adjacent flavin moieties results in the formation of a helical ribbon, which organizes around single-walled carbon nanotubes through concentric π-π interactions between the flavin mononucleotide and the underlying graphene wall. The strength of the helical flavin mononucleotide assembly is strongly dependent on nanotube chirality. In the presence of a surfactant, the flavin mononucleotide assembly is disrupted and replaced without precipitation by a surfactant micelle. The significantly higher affinity of the flavin mononucleotide assembly for (8,6)-single-walled carbon nanotubes results in an 85% chirality enrichment from a nanotube sample with broad diameter distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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