The Effects of Lengths of Flavin Surfactant N-10-Alkyl Side Chains on Promoting Dispersion of a High-Purity and Diameter-Selective Single-Walled Nanotube

Minsuk Park, Seongjoo Hwang, Sang Yong Ju

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Flavin with defined helical self-assembly helps to understand chemical designs for obtaining high-purity semiconducting (s)-single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) in a diameter (dt)-selective manner for high-end applications. In this study, flavins containing 8, 12, 16, and 20 n-alkyl chains were synthesized, and their single/tandem effects on dt-selective s-SWNT dispersibility were investigated at isomolarity. Flavins with n-dodecyl and longer chain lengths (FC12, FC16, and FC20) act as good surfactants for stable SWNT dispersions whereas n-octyl flavin (FC8) exhibits poor dispersibility owing to the lack of SWNT buoyancy. When used with small-dt SWNT, FC8 displays chirality-selective SWNT dispersion. This behavior, along with various flavin helical motifs, prompts the development of criteria for ‘side chain length (lS)’ required for stable and dt-selective SWNT dispersion, which also explains lS-dependent dt-enrichment behavior. Moreover, SWNT dispersions with flavins with dodecyl and longer lS exhibit increased metallic (m)-SWNT, background absorption-contributing carbonaceous impurities (CIs) and preferential selectivity of s-SWNT with slightly larger dt. The increased CIs that affect the SWNT quantum yield were attributed to a solubility parameter. Furthermore, the effects of flavin lS, sonication bath temperature, centrifugal speed, and surfactant concentration on SWNT purity and s-/m-SWNT ratio were investigated. A tandem FC8/FC12 provides fine-tuning of dt-selective SWNT dispersion, wherein the FC8 ratio governs the tendency towards smaller dt. Kinetic and thermodynamic assemblies of tandem flavins result in different sorting behaviors in which wide dt-tunability was demonstrated using kinetic assembly. This study highlights the importance of appropriate side chain length and other extrinsic parameters to obtain dt-selective or high-purity s-SWNT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3380
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was mainly supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (NRF-2022R1A2C1006932 and NRF-2020R1A4A1017737).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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