Project TitleSeparation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Electronic Tube Using Biocompatible Block Copolymers
Track Code2010-067
Short Description

Method to obtain pure populations of single-walled carbon nanotubes needed for developing better devices

#nanotechnology #materials #cnt #fabrication


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been demonstrated to be useful in a wide variety of settings. Regulating the production of these nanotubes to achieve controlled atomic and electronic structure improves functionality and performance. However, this process remains challenging. A number of post-synthesis methods of separating SWNTs by various characteristics have been developed, but most still result in mixed populations of nanotubes. Density-gradient ultracentrifugation is one of the leading techniques in nanotube separation. The use of varied surfactants is often helpful in isolating specific populations. Northwestern inventors have developed a method of using block copolymers and ultracentrifugation to separate carbon nanotube by electronic type. This method will be useful for obtaining pure populations of semiconducting and metallic SWNTs that can subsequently be used to generate devices with increased functionality over those constructed with mixed population carbon nanotubes.

Posted DateMar 18, 2013 3:49 PM


Alexander L. Antaris
Alexander A. Green

Mark C. Hersam*


Isolation of single-walled carbon nanotubes by electronic type


  • More homogenous populations
  • Increased functionality in devices
  • Biocompatibility of resulting nanotube population
  • Further application: foundation for theoretical modeling of carbon nanotube separations using simulated surfactants


IP Status

A patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Arjan Quist, PhD
Invention Manager  
(p) 847.467.0305