Solubilization of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes by Supramolecular Encapsulation of Helical Amylose

We have developed a simple, efficient process for solubilization of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with amylose in aqueous DMSO. This process requires two important conditions, presonication of SWNTs and subsequent amylose treatment in an optimum mixture of DMSO/H2O. The former step separates SWNT bundles, and the latter step provides a maximum cooperative interaction of SWNTs with amylose, leading to the immediate and complete solubilization. The best solvent condition for this is around 10−20% DMSO, in which amylose assumes a random conformation or an interrupted helix. This indicates that the amylose helix is not the prerequisite for encapsulation of SWNTs. The SEM and AFM images of the encapsulated SWNTs manifest loosely twisted ribbons wrapping around SWNTs, which are locally intertwined as a multiple twist, but no clumps of the host amylose are seen on SWNT capsules.