Chemistry of Carbon Nanostructures : Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes and Synthesis of Organometallic Fullerene Derivatives

Abstract: This thesis is based on two main parts. The first part concerns purification and functionalization of carbon nanotubes (papers I-III), and the second part is related to the synthesis of organometallic fullerene derivatives (papers IV-VII): Two oxidative methods involving aqueous nitric acid were compared with respect to their capability to introduce carboxylic groups into single walled carbon nanotubes, and several literature methods for esterification and amidation of these groups have been evaluated with focus on efficiency and reproducibility in forming covalently functionalized products soluble in organic media. Amidation proceeding via a SWNT-(COCl)n intermediate yielded the expected covalent product, whereas carboxylate salt formation dominated with other attempted methods. Esterification was achieved via the acyl chloride method and via alkylation of SWNT-(COO–)n, the latter being the more efficient method. A new, reagent-free method for purification of single- and multi walled carbon nanotubes has been developed. Microwave treatment dissociates non-nanotube carbon and disperses it into an organic solvent, resulting in very pure carbon nanotubes within a few minutes of heating, without the involvement of acidic/oxidative reagents. According to thermogravimetric analysis, Raman and IR spectroscopy, as well as SEM, the process yields nanotubes with a low degree of defects. A non-covalent approach has been employed to prepare nanotubes functionalized with glycosides. Derivatives of galactose and lactose were covalently linked to a pyrene moiety and the thus formed pyrene-glycosides were non-covalently attached to single- and multi walled carbon nanotubes by π-π interactions. Fluorescence titrations have been used to quantify the formed supramolecular assemblies, which for SWNTs exhibits increased water solubility. A fulleropyrrolidine-(tricarbonyl)chromium complex was synthesized and fully characterized. IR spectroelectrochemistry was used to probe the redox state of the fullerene and provided evidence for electronic communication between the two electroacive moieties. A C60-ferrocene-C60 triad system was synthesized and characterized. Cyclic voltammetry and fluorescence studies suggested electronic communication between ferrocene and the two fullerenes. Finally, the synthesis and initial characterization of short fullerene-ferrocene oligomers are presented.