Nitrogen Doping Mechanism in Small Diameter Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Impact on Electronic Properties and Growth Selectivity

HR Barzegar and E Gracia-Espino and T Sharifi and F Nitze and T Wagberg, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 117, 25805-25816 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/jp409518m

Nitrogen doping in carbon nanostructures has attracted interest for more than a decade, and recent implementation of such structures in energy conversion systems has boosted the interest even more. Despite numerous studies, the structural conformation and stability of nitrogen functionalities in small diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), and the impact of these functionalities on the electronic and mechanical properties of the SWNTs, are incomplete. Here we report a detailed study on nitrogen doping in SWNTs with diameters in the range of 0.8-1.0 nm, with well-defined chirality. We show that the introduction of nitrogen in the carbon framework significantly alters the stability of certain tubes, opening for the possibility to selectively grow nitrogen-doped SWNTs with certain chirality and diameter. At low nitrogen concentration, pyridinic functionalities are readily incorporated and the tubular structure is well pertained. At higher concentrations, pyrrolic functionalities are formed, which leads to significant structural deformation of the nanotubes and hence a stop in growth of crystalline SWNTs. Raman spectroscopy is an important tool to understand guest atom doping and electronic charge transfer in SWNTs. By correlating the influence of defined nitrogen functionalities on the electronic properties of SWNTs with different chirality, we make precise interpretation of experimental Raman data. We show that the previous interpretation of the double-resonance G'-peak in many aspects is wrong and instead can be well-correlated to the type of nitrogen doping of SWNTs originating from the p- or n-doping nature of the nitrogen incorporation. Our results are supported by experimental and theoretical data.

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