Effect of semiconductor polymer backbone structures and side-chain parameters on the facile separation of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes from as-synthesized mixtures

Dennis T. Lee, Jong Won Chung, Geonhee Park, Yun Tae Kim, Chang Young Lee, Yeonchoo Cho, Pil J. Yoo, Jae Hee Han, Hyeon Jin Shin, Woo Jae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) show promise as core materials for next-generation solar cells and nanoelectronic devices. However, most commercial SWNT production methods generate mixtures of metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs) and semiconducting SWNT (sc-SWNTs). Therefore, sc-SWNTs must be separated from their original mixtures before use. In this study, we investigated a polymer-based, noncovalent sc-SWNT separation approach, which is simple to perform and does not disrupt the electrical properties of the SWNTs, thus improving the performance of the corresponding sc-SWNT-based applications. By systematically investigating the effect that different structural features of the semiconductor polymer have on the separation of sc-SWNTs, we discovered that the length and configuration of the alkyl side chains and the rigidity of the backbone structure exert significant effects on the efficiency of sc-SWNT separation. We also found that electron transfer between the semiconductor polymers and sc-SWNTs is strongly affected by their energy-level alignment, which can be tailored by controlling the donor-acceptor configuration in the polymer backbone structures. Among the polymers investigated, the highly planar P8T2Z-C12 semiconductor polymer showed the best sc-SWNT separation efficiency and unprecedentedly strong electronic interaction with the sc-SWNTs, which is important for improving their performance in applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume429
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Backbone structure
  • sc-SWNT
  • Semiconductor polymer
  • Side chain
  • SWNT separation

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