The purpose of this innovation is to enhance nucleation of single-wall nanotubes (SWNTs) in the HiPco process, selectively producing 10,10 tubes, something which until now has not been thought possible.

This is accomplished by injecting C60, or a derivative of C60, solubilized in supercritical CO2 together with a transition metal carboneal co-catalyst into the HiPco reactor. This is a variant on the “supercritical” disclosure. C60 has never been used to nucleate carbon nanotubes in the gas phase.

C60 itself may not have adequate solubility in supercritical CO2. However, fluorinated C60, e.g., C60F36, is easy to make cheaply and should have much enhanced solubility.

This work was done by Richard E. Smalley of Rice University for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483- 3809.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Rice University

Office of Technology Transfer – MS 705

P.O. Box 1892

Houston, TX 77251-1892

Phone No. (713) 737-6143


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2012 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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