Historically, we have successfully used high resolution solid state NMR to investigate the electronic, magnetic and dynamical properties of fullerenes, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) and some of their derivatives like functionalized, intercalated, hydrogenated, encapsulated SWNTs and composite systems, in collaboration with several Materials Science groups. For this purpose, we have developed isotopical engineering for the synthesis of SWNTS and a new magnetic purification method. For instance, our findings in peapods demonstrated, for the first time, the existence of strong magnetic shielding created by electronic ring currents circulating in the side walls of the nanotubes. In addition, we reported experimental evidences using 13C and 1H NMR that controlled chemical reactions as hydrogenation at the interior space of SWNT is, indeed, feasible at elevated pressure and temperature. We demonstrated that the rotational dynamics of the encapsulated C60Hx molecules are clearly hindered. Hence, SWNT have been shown to be potential ultra clean nano reactors and gas transport systems. Our successful experiments on encapsulated systems inside SWNT open completely new roads to understand and control confined chemical reactions at the nano scale.
Collaborations : D.E. Luzzi (MSE Philadelphia), A. Zettl (UCB, Berkeley), M. Mehring (Stuttgart), T. Wagberg (Umea), G. Bidan (CEA, Grenoble)
Fundings : ACI-Nano NACEP (2004-2006), Molecular Foundry Berkeley (2005-2007), Région Languedoc-Roussillon (2006)