Binding affinities and thermodynamics of noncovalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes with surfactants

Hyunkyu Oh, Jinsook Sim, Sang Yong Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Binding affinity and thermodynamic understanding between a surfactant and carbon nanotube is essential to develop various carbon nanotube applications. Flavin mononucleotide-wrapped carbon nanotubes showing a large redshift in optical signature were utilized to determine the binding affinity and related thermodynamic parameters of 12 different nanotube chiralities upon exchange with other surfactants. Determined from the midpoint of sigmoidal transition, the equilibrium constant (K), which is inversely proportional to the binding affinity of the initial surfactant-carbon nanotube, provided quantitative binding strengths of surfactants as SDBS > SC ≈ FMN > SDS, irrespective of electronic types of SWNTs. Binding affinity of metallic tubes is weaker than that of semiconducting tubes. The complex K patterns from semiconducting tubes show preference to certain SWNT chiralities and surfactant-specific cooperativity according to nanotube chirality. Controlling temperature was effective to modulate K values by 30% and enables us to probe thermodynamic parameters. Equally signed enthalpy and entropy changes produce Gibbs energy changes with a magnitude of a few kJ/mol. A greater negative Gibbs energy upon exchange of surfactant produces an enhanced nanotube photoluminescence, implying the importance of understanding thermodynamics for designing nanotube separation and supramolecular assembly of surfactant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11154-11162
Number of pages9
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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