The solvent-free (gas-phase) treatment with amines under temperatures of ca. 150°C is a simple one-step method of amidation of oxidised CNTs and amination of pristine carbon nanotubes. In the latter case, amines add on the closed caps and five-membered rings of the wall defects. Thus, this reaction is the most direct link between CNT and fullerene chemistry, contrary to all derivatisation methods designed up to now. The main advantages of amidation and amination procedures are as follows:
• No additional chemical activation is required, contrary to the common methods of carboxylic group amidation.
• The procedures are relatively fast, usually less than 2 h.
• Unreacted amine is spontaneously removed from the product under heating/pumping out.
• No (organic) solvent medium is used. This feature is especially attractive from an ecological point of view.
• A variety of amines can be employed, with the condition of their sufficient thermal stability and volatility under reduced pressure.
The method proposed can be useful not only for simple solubilisation/dispersion of CNTs, but also for the synthesis of chemical linkers for other compound immobilisation on the nanotubes, via employing bifunctional and polyfunctional amines.
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