Sidewall Functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Addition of Dichlorocarbene

Hui Hu, Bin Zhao, Mark A. Hamon, Katalin Kamaras, Mikhail E. Itkis, Robert C. Haddon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

345 Citations (Scopus)


We report the sidewall functionalization of soluble HiPco single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) by addition of dichlorocarbene. The dichlorocarbene-functionalized SWNTs [(s-SWNT)CCLl2] retain their solubility in organic solvents such as tetrahydrofuran and dichlorobenzene. The degree of dichlorocarbene functionalization was varied between 12% and 23% by using different amounts of the dichlorocarbene precursor. Because the addition of dichlorocarbene saturates the carbon atoms on the sidewall of the SWNTs and effectively replaces the delocalized partial double bonds with a cyclopropane functionality, the optical spectra of the SWNTs change dramatically. We estimate that the saturation of 25% of the π-network electronic structure of the SWNTs is sufficient to remove all vestiges of the interband transitions in the infrared spectrum. The transitions at the Fermi level in the metallic SWNTs that appear in the far-infrared (FIR) region of the spectrum show a dramatic decrease of intensity on dichlorocarbene functionalization. The FIR region of the spectrum allows a clear differentiation between the covalent and the ionic chemistry of SWNTs. In contrast with covalent functionalization, we show that reaction of the SWNTs with bromine vapor leads to a strong increase in absorptions at the Fermi level that is observable in the FIR due to hole doping of the semiconducting SWNTs. Thermal treatment of the (s-SWNT)CCl2 above 300 °C resulted in the breakage of C-Cl bonds, but did not restore the original electronic structure of the SWNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14893-14900
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - Dec 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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