A spontaneous gas-phase charging phenomenon of single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) bundles synthesized with an aerosol (floating catalyst) method has been discovered. CNT bundles were naturally both positively and negatively charged with up to four elementary charges, whereas individual nanotubes remained electrically neutral. On the basis of the observed self-charging of CNTs, a novel method for the gas-phase separation of individual CNTs from bundles and their subsequent deposition on any substrate at ambient temperature was developed.
- single-walled carbon nanotubes
- carbon nanotubes