Fluorescent composites of surfactant-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were prepared by exposing suspensions of surfactant-wrapped carbon nanotubes to tetramethylorthosilicate (TMOS) vapor. Sodium deoxycholate (DOC) and sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS) were the surfactants. No loss in emission intensity was observed when the suspension of DOC-wrapped SWNTs were exposed to the TMOS vapors, but about a 50% decrease in the emission signal was observed from the SDS-wrapped SWNTs nanotubes. The decrease in emission was minimal by buffering the SDS/SWNT suspension prior to forming the composite. Fluorescent xerogels were prepared by adding glycerol to the SWNT suspensions prior to TMOS vapor exposure, followed by drying the gels. Fluorescent aerogels were prepared by replacing water in the gels with methanol and then exposing them to supercritical fluid drying conditions. The aerogels can be used for gas sensing.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.