Carbon nanotubes have been featured prominently in the nanotechnology research for some time, yet robust strategies for noncovalent chemical modification of the nanotube surface are still missing. Such strategies are essential for the creation of functional device architectures. Here, we present a new general procedure for carbon nanotube modification based on polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer assembly. We have built multilayer structures around individual carbon nanotube bridges by first modifying the nanotube surface with a pyrene derivative followed by layer-by-layer deposition of polyelectrolyte macroions on the nanotube. Transmission electron microscopy and scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy images confirm the formation of nanometer-thick amorphous polymer nanoshells around the nanotubes. These multilayer polyelectrolyte shells on individual carbon nanotubes introduce nearly unlimited opportunities for the incorporation of various functionalities into nanotube devices, which, in turn, opens up the possibility of building more complex multicomponent structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry