We demonstrate a simple and resource-efficient approach for rapid purification of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films from catalyst impurities by Joule heating in a vacuum. As a result, the catalyst concentration decreases by a factor of 27 (from 17 to <1 wt%) after heating at 1600°C for 2 min. Moreover, the nanotube structure remains almost intact as the purified films show a high ratio of intensities of G to D bands of Raman spectrum IG/ID = 180. The technique perfectly fits for the devices based on free-standing carbon nanotube films such as protective membranes, infrared detectors, and sound generators. For purified SWCNT films, we show the signal-to-noise ratio for the bolometers to increase by a factor of 2.5 and 24% sound pressure gain for the air-coupled thermophones. The method can be easily extended to other applications, for instance, the SWCNT-based devices of limited liquid and harsh reagent tolerance like nanotube aerogels and drug delivery systems.
- In situ TEM heating
- Iron removal
- Kelvin effect
- Single-walled carbon nanotubes