Synthesis and energy release of nitrobenzene-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes

Joel T. Abrahamson, Changsik Song, Jenny H. Hu, Jared M. Forman, Sayalee G. Mahajan, Nitish Nair, Wonjoon Choi, Eun Ji Lee, Michael S. Strano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Nanomaterials offer advantages as new fuels and energetic materials because of increased surface areas, enhancement of chemical reactivity that often accompanies a reduction in particle size, and the ability to form composites. Applications include new energy storage devices and power sources. In this work, we report the synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes decorated with mono-, di-, and trinitrobenzenes via diazonium chemistry as a means of increasing their energy density. Differential scanning calorimetry confirms thermally initiated energy release from such systems, with no release from control materials. Analysis of calorimetric data shows a statistically lower value of activation energy at low conversion, providing evidence for nanotube-guided chain reactions. Although covalent functionalization introduces defects that tend to scatter electrons and phonons, reducing electrical and thermal conductivity, we show that thermopower waves are still able to rapidly propagate along such decorated nanotubes and produce electrical power. The results offer new ways of storing chemical energy within carbon nanotubes and new conduits for thermopower wave generators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4557-4562
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 25
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon nanotubes
  • energy storage
  • nanoenergetic materials
  • power source
  • reaction propagation
  • thermopower waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis and energy release of nitrobenzene-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this