Microwave purification of large-area horizontally aligned arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes

Xu Xie, Sung Hun Jin, Muhammad A. Wahab, Ahmad E. Islam, Chenxi Zhang, Frank Du, Eric Seabron, Tianjian Lu, Simon N. Dunham, Hou In Cheong, Yen Chu Tu, Zhilin Guo, Ha Uk Chung, Yuhang Li, Yuhao Liu, Jong Ho Lee, Jizhou Song, Yonggang Huang, Muhammad A. Alam, William L. WilsonJohn A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent progress in the field of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) significantly enhances the potential for practical use of this remarkable class of material in advanced electronic and sensor devices. One of the most daunting challenges is in creating large-area, perfectly aligned arrays of purely semiconducting SWNTs (s-SWNTs). Here we introduce a simple, scalable, large-area scheme that achieves this goal through microwave irradiation of aligned SWNTs grown on quartz substrates. Microstrip dipole antennas of low work-function metals concentrate the microwaves and selectively couple them into only the metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs). The result allows for complete removal of all m-SWNTs, as revealed through systematic experimental and computational studies of the process. As one demonstration of the effectiveness, implementing this method on large arrays consisting of ∼20,000 SWNTs completely removes all of the m-SWNTs (∼7,000) to yield a purity of s-SWNTs that corresponds, quantitatively, to at least to 99.9925% and likely significantly higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5332
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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