Dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes using nucleobase-containing poly(acrylamide) polymers

Darryl Fong, Zan Hua, Thomas R. Wilks, Rachel K. O'Reilly, Alex Adronov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Single‐walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) possess extraordinary properties, but suffer from poor solubility and a lack of purity. Of the possible routes available to solubilize and purify nanotube samples, the use of noncovalent functionalization is ideal as carbon nanotube properties are not deleteriously affected. A multitude of different dispersants have been investigated thus far, but of particular interest is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which has previously been demonstrated to effectively separate metallic and semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Here, we investigate the ability of synthetic nucleobase‐containing poly(acrylamide) polymers to produce stable nanotube dispersions in organic solvents. Polymers bearing different nucleobase and backbone structures, as well as block copolymers with different block sequences were investigated. Polymer:SWNT mass ratios and solvent compositions were optimized for the nucleobase‐functionalized polymers, and semiconducting and metallic SWNT populations were identified by a combination of UV‐Vis‐NIR absorption, Raman, and fluorescence spectroscopy. These results demonstrate the capacity for synthetic DNA analogues to disperse SWNTs in organic media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2611-2617
JournalJournal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number16
Early online date3 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017


  • carbon nanotubes
  • dispersions
  • nucleobase polymers
  • reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)
  • supramolecular sturctures


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