To extend the application fields of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and single-wall carbon nanohorns (SWNHs), their chemical modification is essential. Since their graphene-sheet-based structures are chemically robust, only the edges of the graphene sheets, more specifically the oxygen-containing functional groups at hole edges, are useful sites for chemical modification. However, not much is known about the hole-edges, so the phenomenon reported here, that the hole edges easily react with conventional reagents, was previously unknown. We observed a lowering of the combustion temperature of SWNTs and SWNHs immersed in water; this lowering was induced as a result of the hydrolysis of oxygen-containing functional groups (anhydrides and/or lactones) at the hole edges. We also found that the reactivity of hole edges can be easily controlled through an appropriate choice of solvents. We believe that this study is helpful to our understanding of hole-edge chemistry and will help to enable the production of well-designed carbonaceous materials with high functionality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry