An investigation of the fracturing process in nitrogen-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes (N-MWCNTs). Evidence for directional unzipping

Nikhil Dilip Patil, Mark S Meier
2014 Materials Research Express  
The reduction of nitrogen-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes (N-MWCNTs) with Li/NH 3 results in deep longitudinal cuts in the nanotubes structure. As the N-MWCNTs are anisotropic, we were able to investigate whether the unzipping process proceeds with equal efficiency from the tip end or from the root (catalyst) end of the N-MWCNT structure. To accomplish this we prepared polymerfilled aligned arrays of N-MWCNTs, then exposed one or the other end. Through this approach we were able to shield
more » ... e able to shield the sidewalls and either end of the nanotubes from the Li/NH 3 solution We have found that when the top end of the N-MWCNTs array was exposed to the reaction mixture, very few nanotubes suffered significant 'unzipping'. However, when the root (substrate) side of the array is exposed to the reaction mixture, we observe the features characteristic of nanotubes with longitudinal cuts. Our finding provides some insight into the mechanism of the unzipping process, and provides evidence that the unzipping process has a directional preference-unzipping from the root end towards the tip end. And may provide a method for selective functionalization of the interior of tubes and create a new form of nanotube-based porous membrane.
doi:10.1088/2053-1591/1/1/015603 fatcat:ar6dtbyq2vfndbluyjor5a52pi