Spiral Countercurrent Chromatography Enrichment, Characterization, and Assays of Carbon Nanotube Chiralities for Use in Biosensors

Steingrimur Stefansson*, Rodrigo Lazo-Portugal, Saeyoung Ahn, Martha Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are synthetic materials that hold great promise for electronics that are smaller and more versatile than the current silica-based technologies. But as-produced SWCNTs are generally a mixture of nanotubes with different structures that have vastly different properties. Separating these SWCNTs from multiwalled and metallic carbon nanotubes is vital to explore their individual properties and commercial utility ranging from optics to semiconductors. Compounding the problem of commercial investigation is that the semiconducting SWCNTs are also a mixture of different diameters and/or chiralities with different properties. Analyzing properties of enriched semiconducting SWCNT chiralities has only recently been possible through separation techniques such as aqueous two-phase solvent systems. Our study illustrates a semipreparative spiral countercurrent chromatography (CCC) separation of a commercial mixture of SWCNTs into distinct enriched fractions. A new mixer-settler spiral disk rotor was applied in this study, in which we compare the enriched SWCNTs for their effectiveness in biosensors with a high-throughput model assay, followed by antibody-mediated detection of Escherichia coli. Our results demonstrate that CCC-enriched responsive SWCNTs for biosensors can be used in our model assay, as well as for the detection of E. coli. To date, we believe that this is the first study along with Liu et al. [ Chirality-controlled synthesis of single-wall carbon nanotubes using vapour-phase epitaxy. Nat. Commun. 2012, 3, 1199 ] to demonstrate a specific utility of separated SWCNT species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1162
Number of pages7
JournalACS Omega
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant 1548957, and the authors would like to thank Dr. Ming Zheng of the Materials Science and Engineering Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology for helpful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


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