In this chapter, we will evaluate the synthesis and purification of carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical molecules that consists of graphene (rolled up of a single-layer carbon atom). A wide variety of synthesis techniques such as arc discharge synthesis, laser ablation of graphite/laser vaporization synthesis method, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), high pressure carbon monoxide synthesis and flame synthesis techniques, have been implemented to grow single and multi-walled carbon nanotubes for technological applications. All of the above methods exploit transition metals, like iron, cobalt, and nickel, as a catalyst. There are number of methods (filtering, chromatography and centrifugation) used to purify the carbon nanotubes, but the degree of purity remained questionable in these methods. In order to enhance the purification extent, alternate techniques such as Gas phase purification, Liquid phase purification and Purification by Intercalation are introduced. Here we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these purification routes. It will help researchers in selecting appropriate and effective method for synthesis and purification of carbon nanotubes.
Part of the book: Carbon Nanotubes