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Analytical Chemistry

  • Carbon-Based Materials
  • Life Sciences

Single Nanotube Spectral Imaging To Determine Molar Concentrations of Isolated Carbon Nanotube Species

Authors Thomas V. Galassi, Prakrit V. Jena, Daniel Roxbury, and Daniel A. Heller


Electronic and biological applications of carbon nanotubes can be highly dependent on the species (chirality) of nanotube, purity, and concentration. Existing bulk methods, such as absorbance spectroscopy, can quantify sp2 carbon based on spectral bands, but nanotube length distribution, defects, and carbonaceous impurities can complicate quantification of individual particles. We present a general method to relate the optical density of a photoluminescent nanotube sample to the number of individual nanotubes. By acquiring 3-dimensional images of nanotubes embedded in a gel matrix with a reducing environment, we quantified all emissive nanotubes in a volume. Via spectral imaging, we assessed structural impurities and precisely determined molar concentrations of the (8,6) and (9,4) nanotube species. We developed an approach to obtain the molarity of any structurally enriched semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube preparation on a pernanotube basis.

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