Large-Volume Production of Monodisperse Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
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AbstractCurrent methods of growing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of specific chirality yield mixtures of single-walled CNTs (SWNTs) with different structures and electronic properties, and methods to separate nanotubes by their electronic properties remain expensive and small-scale. Accordingly, synthesis today entails high capital and operating costs. A process is proposed that sidesteps the most difficult problems in SWNT nucleation thermodynamics, by performing re-growth from cloned mono-chiral SWNT hosts, vertically embedded in Master Templates. The objective of the Phase II SBIR effort is to demonstrate reproducible fabrication of SWNT Master Templates, to demonstrate accelerated growth of seeded SWNTs on the reusable template, and to demonstrate methods for harvesting SWNTs from the template, preserving it for reuse. This opens the possibility to establish amplified SWNT growth chemistries, and provides the opportunity to repeatedly grow nanotubes with only the desired chiral conformation, in principle to unlimited lengths. The CAPTOR process provides the degree of process flexibility necessary to scale the reaction to high-volume, low-cost production using standard chemical industry capital equipment, such as fluidic reactor beds.
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