National Research Council of Canada. NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology
National Research Council of Canada. NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences
A simple wet chemical method involving only ultrasonic processing in dilute ceric sulfate (CS) was used to functionalize carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Unexpectedly, single-walled and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs) were cut, oxidized, and disintegrated by sonication in 0.1 N CS for 2-5 h. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), Raman scattering, and photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to probe wall damage during the chemical processing. Cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy were used to evaluate the conductivity of the CS-treated CNTs. This one-step process resulted in the destruction of SWCNTs to produce nonconducting amorphous carbon. MWCNTs were oxidized and converted to graphitic materials and amorphous carbon with retained conductivity.