Published: May 13th, 2013
We discussed the synthesis of individual graphitic nanocups using a series of techniques including chemical vapor deposition, acid oxidation and probe-tip sonication. By citrate reduction of HAuCl4, the graphitic nanocups were effectively corked with gold nanoparticles due to the chemically reactive edges of the cups.
Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes consist of many cup-shaped graphitic compartments termed as nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube cups (NCNCs). These as-synthesized graphitic nanocups from chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method were stacked in a head-to-tail fashion held only through noncovalent interactions. Individual NCNCs can be isolated out of their stacking structure through a series of chemical and physical separation processes. First, as-synthesized NCNCs were oxidized in a mixture of strong acids to introduce oxygen-containing defects on the graphitic walls. The oxidized NCNCs were then processed using high-intensity probe-tip sonication which effectively separated the stacked NCNCs into individual graphitic nanocups. Owing to their abundant oxygen and nitrogen surface functionalities, the resulted individual NCNCs are highly hydrophilic and can be effectively functionalized with gold nanoparticles (GNPs), which preferentially fit in the opening of the cups as cork stoppers. These graphitic nanocups corked with GNPs may find promising applications as nanoscale containers and drug carriers.
With their inherent inner cavities and versatile surface chemistry, hollow carbon-based nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are considered to be good nanocarriers in drug delivery applications.1,2 However, the fibril structure of pristine CNTs has rather inaccessible hollow interiors and may cause severe inflammatory response and cytotoxic effects in biological systems.3,4 Nitrogen-doped CNTs, on the other hand, have been found to possess higher biocompatibility than undoped multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)5,6 and may have better drug delivery performance. Doping of nitrogen atoms into the nanotube graphitic lattices r....
1. CVD Synthesis of Nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanotube Cups (NCNCs)
NCNCs were synthesized employing chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique on quartz substrate using liquid precursors (Figure 1A).
The as-synthesized NCNCs from CVD growth appeared as a carpet of black material on quartz substrate. Thick films of NCNCs weighing about several mg were obtained by peeling with a razor blade (Figure 1B). TEM images show the morphology of as-synthesized NCNCs at different magnifications (Figure 1). At the lower magnification (Figure 1C), the as-synthesized NCNCs all showed a fibril structure with lengths of typically several micrometers and diameters of 20 - 30 nm. Unlik.......
The primary goal of our experiments was to effectively produce graphitic nanocups from nitrogen-doped CNTs. However, nitrogen-doping in the CVD synthesis does not guarantee the formation of the stacked cup-shaped structure. Depending on the chemical composition of the precursor and other growth conditions, the morphology of the resulted product may vary a lot.19 The concentration of nitrogen source is the primary factor influencing the structure because the compartmented structure results from the incompatibil.......
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