Acyclic cucurbit[ n ]uril molecular containers selectively solubilize single-walled carbon nanotubes in water

Cai Shen, Da Ma, Brendan Meany, Lyle Isaacs, Yuhuang Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Making single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) soluble in water is a challenging first step to use their remarkable electronic and optical properties in a variety of applications. We report that acyclic cucurbit[n]uril molecular containers 1 and 2 selectively solubilize small-diameter and low chiral angle SWNTs. The selectivity is tunable by increasing the concentration of the molecular containers or by adjusting the ionic strength of the solution. Even at a concentration 1000 times lower than typically required for surfactants, the molecular containers render SWNTs soluble in water. Molecular mechanics simulations suggest that these C-shaped acyclic molecules complex the SWNTs such that a large portion of nanotube sidewalls are exposed to the external environment. These "naked" nanotubes fluoresce upon patching the exposed surface with sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7254-7257
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume134
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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