Doping carbon nanotubes with Nitrogen and their potential applications

Carbon 3, 575 - 586 (2010)

Doping carbon nanotubes with Nitrogen and their potential applications

P. Ayala, R. Arenal, Mark H. Rümmeli, A. Rubio, T. Pichler

Carbon nanotubes nowadays represent one of the most active research fields. Several publications regard the study of properties and applications of pristine carbon nanotubes but great interest is given to improve and control their properties through different functionalization methods. In this context, the controlled modification of the nanotube properties introducing heteroatoms within their carbon network has only recently received considerable attention. Although some work has been done on different ways of endohedral doping and intercalation, the case of substitutional doping has still some difficulties to overcome. For several reasons, N is a practical and realistic substitutional heteroatom case to analyze. This contribution deals with the introduction of N within the carbon  nanotube both within single as well as multi­walled structures. It provides an overview of the synthesis, characterization and analysis of the potential applications of nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes based on intrinsic changes in properties upon nitrogen incorporation. This review clarifies why nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes are target of several investigations and explains not only the state­of­the­art research but also highlights the correlations of the available results in the literature with other nitrogen doped carbon systems.  The full experimental picture embraces the synthesis procedures and commonly used characterization techniques.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2009.10.009

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