Spontaneous dissolution of ultralong single- and multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Academic Article uri icon


  • We report that chlorosulfonic acid is a true solvent for a wide range of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), including single-walled (SWNTs), double-walled (DWNTs), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), and CNTs hundreds of micrometers long. The CNTs dissolve as individuals at low concentrations, as determined by cryo-TEM (cryogenic transmission electron microscopy), and form liquid-crystalline phases at high concentrations. The mechanism of dissolution is electrostatic stabilization through reversible protonation of the CNT side walls, as previously established for SWNTs. CNTs with highly defective side walls do not protonate sufficiently and, hence, do not dissolve. The dissolution and liquid-crystallinity of ultralong CNTs are critical advances in the liquid-phase processing of macroscopic CNT-based materials, such as fibers and films.

published proceedings

  • ACS Nano

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Parra-Vasquez, A., Behabtu, N., Green, M. J., Pint, C. L., Young, C. C., Schmidt, J., ... Pasquali, M.

citation count

  • 113

complete list of authors

  • Parra-Vasquez, A Nicholas G||Behabtu, Natnael||Green, Micah J||Pint, Cary L||Young, Colin C||Schmidt, Judith||Kesselman, Ellina||Goyal, Anubha||Ajayan, Pulickel M||Cohen, Yachin||Talmon, Yeshayahu||Hauge, Robert H||Pasquali, Matteo

publication date

  • July 2010