(536c) Optimization and Upscaling of Chirality-Sorting of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes By Aqueous Two-Phase Extraction

Fagan, J. A., National Institute of Standards and Technology

The actual implementation of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in the applications for which they were put forward to be highly promising is severely hampered because current synthesis techniques generally produce low purity mixtures of many different SWCNT chiralities. Therefore, various methods to purify and separate SWCNTs according to chirality have been developed, recently including aqueous two-phase extraction (ATPE). This method makes use of two water-soluble polymers forming distinct phases with different hydrophilicity, resulting in a re-distribution and hence chirality separation of the solubilized SWCNTs. ATPE generally does not require high-end instrumentation, and has been shown to be both very robust, fast, and readily extendable. In this work, we focus on the scaling, automation, and further improvement of the ATPE method, making use of automated liquid phase separation techniques, such as countercurrent chromatography.