19 July

Electron microscopy studies of functional carbon nanotubes

Wednesday 19 July 2017, 11:00pm

ICN2 Seminar Hall

PhD: Elzbieta Pach

Director: Dr Belén Ballesteros Pérez, Electron Microscopy Division Leader at ICN2  

Short Abstract: Functional carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are attracting an increased attention due to their potential use for biomedical applications, including in vivo imaging, tumour targeting and drug delivery systems. An intrinsic advantage of carbon nanotubes is that their inner cavity can be filled with a chosen payload whilst the outer surface can be modified to improve their dispersability and biocompatibility. The present PhD thesis focusses on the thorough study of functional carbon nanotubes by means of electron microscopy techniques.

Being the envisaged application in the biomedical field, a detailed characterisation of the samples in all the steps of the preparation process (namely purification, shortening, filling and external functionalisation) is mandatory. Moreover, some of the employed compounds with interest for biomedical applications have a layered structure in their bulk form. CNTs may act as templates to guide those layered materials to form single-layered nanotubes. In this PhD thesis we have succeeded in the formation of lutetium halide subnanometer-sized nanotubes. Additionally, the high yield growth of PbI2 nanotubes on the exterior of CNTs has been achieved. Thanks to aberration corrected HAADF STEM and electron tomography, the structure of these novel hybrids has been revealed.