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Measurement of Single Wall Nanotube Dispersion by Size Exclusion Chromatography



Barry J. Bauer, Matthew Becker, Vardhan Bajpai, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Erik K. Hobbie, Kalman D. Migler, Charles M. Guttman, William R. Blair


The dispersion of nanotubes in solution is necessary in order to achieve the goal of sorting and manipulating nanotubes by length and type and to then prepare high quality monodisperse samples. A necessary step is the proper characterization of the dispersions to know if the original bundles and ropes have broken down into isolated nanotubes. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) is shown to be an effective method to characterize single wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) dispersions. SEC separates nanotube dispersions by size, and measures the intrinsic viscosity on-line as a function of hydrodynamic size as is determined by Universal Calibration. This scaling contains information about the shape of the dispersed particles.This characterization method was tested on three representative dispersions: octadecyl amine functionalization in tetrahydrofuran (THF), butyl group functionalization in THF, and DNA wrapping in aqueous solution. Significant differences between the dispersions were found. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) produced results consistent with the SEC method.


carbon nanotubes, chromatography, dispersion, microscopy, neutron scattering


Bauer, B. , Becker, M. , Bajpai, V. , Fagan, J. , Hobbie, E. , Migler, K. , Guttman, C. and Blair, W. (2007), Measurement of Single Wall Nanotube Dispersion by Size Exclusion Chromatography, Macromolecules, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created May 9, 2007, Updated February 19, 2017