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06/10/08

Aqueous Noncovalent Functionalization and Controlled Near-Surface Carbon Doping of Multiwalled Boron Nitride Nanotubes


Wenlong Wang, Yoshio Bando, Chunyi Zhi, Wangyang Fu, Enge Wang, and Dmitri Golberg

J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 2008, 130, 8144–8145

 

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Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), known as the III-VI homologue of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are structurally identical to CNTs except that the C atoms are replaced by alternating B and N atoms. Similar to their C counterpart, BNNTs have remarkable mechanical properties and thermal conductivity. But in contrast to the uncontrollable metallic or semiconducting behaviors of CNTs, BNNTs possess a uniform electronic bandgap (∼5.5 eV) that is independent of the tube diameter and chirality. Further band gap tuning of BNNTs is also possible through, for example, applying transverse electric filed, deformation, and doping. Of particular interest is the substitutional C-doping. In light of the marked structural similarities between BNNTs and CNTs and the possibilities to create a whole range of B-C-N ternary phases by controlling the doping levels, there is a fairly wide scope for the BNNT bandgap engineering through C-doping.

Figure 1. (a) Schematic of PTAS functionalization of BNNTs. (b) A
representative TEM image of the starting pure BNNTs. (c) Comparative
TGA curves of pure BNNTs, PTAS-BNNTs, and C-doped B-C-N/BN
tubes, measured in air at a heating rate of 10 °C/min. (d) UV-visible
absorption spectra of PTAS-BNNTs and the monomeric PTAS in a dilute
aqueous solution; inset shows optical photographs of pure BNNTs, PTAS,
and PTAS-BNNTs in aqueous solution.

Figure 2. (a) Two-terminal I-V curves recorded from an individual pristine
BNNT and a coaxial B-C-N/BN nanotube. Inset shows a scanning electron
micrograph of the B-C-N/BN nanotube with Ti/Au metal contacts. (b)
Transfer characteristic of the prototype B-C-N/BN nanotube FET. Inset
is a schematic illustration of the B-C-N/BN coaxial nanotubes.

 


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