U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Published in Chem. Mater. 2007, 19, 6370–6372.


Surface modification of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) through covalent functionalization is vital for the development of high-performance composite materials, chemosensors, nanoelectronics, photovoltaic devices, as well as for a range of biomedical applications. Several methods have been developed to functionalize CNTs. The introduction of acid groups by acid digestion disrupts the structural integrity of CNTs. Apart from shortening the tubes, oxidatively generated acid groups are inhomogenously located at the tips of broken CNTs and, hence, functionalization using acid groups as precursors does not give a statistical distribution of functional groups throughout the surface of the CNTs.