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Nanotube Chemistry and Microwaves

The use of Microwave irradiation as an energy source provides a very effective heating strategy for chemical reactions with Carbon nanotubes
NT and MW
Fig. 1: Simple apparatus for chemical reactions of carbon nanotubes in solid state under inert atmosphere. (Ref. 1)

An early implementation of microwave heating was reported back in 2003, reducing reaction times from 96 hours to 76 minutes, to obtain a soluble derivatives of SWNTs bearing poly(ethylene glycol)amine moieties grafted through amidation.

[1] F. Della Negra, M. Meneghetti, E. Menna; "Microwave-assisted synthesis of a soluble single wall carbon nanotube derivative", Fuller. Nanotub. Carbon Nanostruct.200311, 25-34.

Graphene, Carbon Nanotubes and Flow Chemistry

Fig. 1: An artist's view of the chemical functionalization of CNTs within a fluidic device.

We reported a straightforward continuous-flow method for efficient exohedral functionalisation of carbon nanotubes that affords soluble samples in a much shorter time over conventional batch processing.
The system can be implemented even with cheap and readily available (in a chemical lab) components (Fig. 2).

Patent WO 2012156297flow chemistry on nanotubes
Fig. 2: A simple and cheap setup for the flow functionalization of carbon nanotubes

Controlling the functionalization of carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoplatelets

flow graphene functionalization

A chemical modification of different carbon nanostructures, based on flow processes allows to control key features, such as solubility and electronic properties, thus tailoring the products for different applications (nanocomposites, organic photovoltaics, …)

flow chemistry of nanotubes

[1] P. Salice, P. Maity, E. Rossi, T. Carofiglio, E. Menna, M. Maggini; "The continuous-flow cycloaddition of azomethine ylides to carbon nanotubes", Chem. Commun. 2011, 9092-9094.

[2] P. Salice, D. Fenaroli, C. C. De Filippo, E. Menna, G. Gasparini, M. Maggini; "Efficient functionalization of carbon nanotubes: an opportunity enabled by flow chemistry", Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today 2012, 30, 37-39.

[3] M. Maggini, P. Salice, E. Rossi, E. Menna, T. Carofiglio; "Method for synthesis of functionalised carbon nanotubes by cycloaddition under continuous flow conditions and apparatus for the method", WO 2012156297.

[4] P. Salice, E. Rossi, A. Pace, P. Maity, T. Carofiglio, E. Menna, M. Maggini; "Chemistry of carbon nanotubes in flow",J. Flow Chem. 2014, 4, 79-85.