Thermal stability and reactivity to oxidation of several nanocomposite systems obtained by encapsulation of metal halides in single-walled carbon nanotubes are studied. Thermogravimetric analysis coupled with Raman spectroscopy allows insight into the various contributing factors, such as charge transfer, strain, and defect formation, and establishing a hierarchy of reactivity for the systems studied (AgX@SWCNTs, with X = Br, I; SWCNTs = arc discharge and HiPCO). The activation energy for oxidation decreases considerably after filling, indicating that filled nanotubes are more amenable to controlled modifications based on chemical reactivity than the originating empty nanotubes. The complete removal of the carbon shell at high temperatures does not preserve the nanowire morphology of the encapsulated halides; these are freed on surfaces in the form of nanoparticles arranged in 1D patterns. Metallic nanoparticles were obtained after hydrogen reduction of the halides, and growth of silicon nanowires in the footprint of the originating nanocomposites was demonstrated from such Co seeds. MX@SWCNTs (M = Ag, Co) can thus be used as environmentally stable nanoscale containers that allow the deliverance of catalytic nanoparticles in a prepatterned and aligned way.
Bendall, J. S., Ilie, A., Welland, M. E., Sloan, J., & Green, M. L. H. (2006). Thermal stability and reactivity of metal halide filled single-walled carbon nanotubes. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110(13), 6569-6573. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp056405t