Reaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with hydrogen gas was studied in a temperature interval of 400-550 °C and at hydrogen pressure of 50 bar. Hydrogenation of nanotubes was observed for samples treated at 400-450 °C with about 1/3 of carbon atoms forming covalent C-H bonds, whereas hydrogen treatment at higher temperatures (550 °C) occurs as an etching. Unzipping of some SWNTs into graphene nanoribbons is observed as a result of hydrogenation at 400-550 °C. Annealing in hydrogen gas at elevated conditions for prolonged periods of time (72 h) is demonstrated to result also in nanotube opening, purification of nanotubes from amorphous carbon, and removal of carbon coatings from Fe catalyst particles, which allows their complete elimination by acid treatment.
- carbon nanotube