Selective intercalation of polymers in carbon nanotubes

Alexander V. Bazilevsky, Kexia Sun, Alexander L. Yarin, Constantine M. Megaridis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


A room-temperature, open-air method is devised to selectively intercalate relatively low-molecular-weight polymers (∼10-100 kDa) from dilute, volatile solutions into open-end, as-grown, wettable carbon nanotubes with 50-100 nm diameters. The method relies on a novel self-sustained diffusion mechanism driving polymers from dilute volatile solutions into carbon nanotubes and concentrating them there. Relatively low-molecular-weight polymers, such as polyethylene oxide) (PEO, 600 kDa) and poly(caprolactone) (PCL, 80 kDa), were encapsulated in graphitic nanotubes as confirmed by transmission electron microscopy, which revealed morphologies characteristic of mixtures in nanoconfinements affected by intermolecular forces. Whereas relatively small, flexible polymer molecules can conform to enter these nanotubes, larger macromolecules (∼1000 kDa) remain outside. The selective nature of this process is useful for filling nanotubes with polymers and could also be valuable in capping nanotubes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7451-7455
Number of pages5
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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