Organic‐Functionalized Single‐Walled Aluminosilicate Nanotubes
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Synthetic single-walled metal oxide (aluminosilicate) nanotubes are emerging materials for a number of potential applications involving molecular transport and adsorption; due to their unique pore structure, high surface reactivity, and controllable dimensions. In this talk, we describe recent progress on the synthesis, functionalization, and molecular diffusion and adsorption properties of these materials. We first discuss the structure, synthesis, and characterization of these materials. Thereafter, functionalization of the nanotube interior is an attractive target, but was initially impeded by its high surface silanol density and resulting hydrophilicity. Controlled dehydration and dehydroxylation of the nanotubes is critical for the success of functionalization efforts. We employ a range of solid-state characterization tools to elucidate dehydration and dehydroxylation phenomena in the nanotubes as a function of heat treatment. With an appropriate heat-treatment process, we show that the SWNT inner surface can then be functionalized with various organic groups of practical interest via solid-liquid heterogeneous reactions. We also present examples of experimental measurements and computational predictions of the adsorption and transport properties of these materials.