The investigation of 1D nanocrystals confined in carbon nanotubes

Abstract : Filling carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been considered as an easy approach to synthesize various nanocrystals since the inserted materials are forced to adopt a nearly one-dimensional morphology arising from their very high aspect ratio, especially in the case of single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) or double-walled CNTs (DWCNTs). Nanocrystals/nanowires of transition metals, especially those with very narrow diameters, are predicted to exhibit peculiar magnetic property differing from the bulk metals. Filling CNTs provides a possible way for the synthesis of such metal nanocrystals/nanowires. There are several methods for filling CNTs including the in situ method, gas phase method, molten phase method, solution method, etc. Among them, molten phase has been very popular for filling various types of nanotubes due to the possibility to reach high filling rates, simplicity and versatility. However, for materials with high melting point such as metals, it is difficult to insert them into CNTs directly. To solve this problem, we also took advantage of the inner cavity of CNTs which not only templates the growth but also acts as a nanoreactor in order to perform chemical reactions. The insertion of materials with high melting point is typically achieved by first filling CNTs with a precursor, and then transforming the precursor into the desired 1D nanostructure by post-treatments. In this thesis, (i) filling DWCNTs with iodine and various halides via the molten phase method was performed and the influence of the relevant physical and chemical properties of the halides on the filling rate was investigated. The role of the redox potential as a main parameter driving the filling efficiency is pointed out, and explained; (ii) peculiar structures of the nanocrystals confined within DWCNTs were imaged by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and corresponding modeling of the observed crystal nanostructures and related TEM images were proposed; (iii) different in situ transformations on the iodide-filled DWCNTs were attempted and the chemical composition of the encapsulated 1D nanocrystals before and after post-filling treatments was systematically identified by means of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS).
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Chunyang Nie. The investigation of 1D nanocrystals confined in carbon nanotubes. Material chemistry. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30214⟩. ⟨tel-01540273⟩

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