Recovered Bandgap Absorption of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Acetone and Alcohols

Advanced Materials 17, 147 - 150 (2005)

Recovered Bandgap Absorption of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Acetone and Alcohols

A. Cao, S. Talapatra, Y. Y. Choi, R. Vajtai, P. M. Ajayan, A. Filin, P. Persans, A. Rubio

Band-gap optical absorption of single-walled carbon nanotubes weakens after exposure in air and can be gradually recovered by washing nanotubes in organic solvents. The bleach and recovery of optical absorption are due to the charge transfer between nanotubes and their adsorbates (e.g. H2O) in the processes when adsorbed molecules attach or detach from the nanotube surface. The recovered degree of optical absorption varies for different solvents based on the ability to strip off adsorbates from nanotubes by organic solvents, and alcohols have shown dramatic increases (up to > 50%) in the relative ratio between the first and second absorption bands (IS1/IS2). Our results suggest the potential application of carbon nanotubes in behaving as liquid/solvent sensors by simply monitoring the optical absorption in different environments.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.200400113

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