Electroactive carbon nanoforms: a comparative study via sequential arylation and click chemistry reactions

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The reactivity of several carbon nanoforms (CNFs), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and graphene, has been investigated through a combination of arylation and click chemistry CuI-mediated azide–alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reactions. The approach is based on the incorporation of electroactive π-extended tetrathiafulvalene (exTTF) units into the triazole linkers to modulate the electronic properties of the obtained conjugates. The introduction of strain, by bending the planar graphene sheet into a 3D carbon framework, is responsible for the singular reactivity observed in carbon nanotubes. The formed nanoconjugates were fully characterized by analytical, spectroscopic, and microscopic techniques (TGA, FTIR, Raman, UV-Vis-NIR, cyclic voltammetry, TEM and XPS). In the case of SWCNT conjugates, where the functionalization degree is higher, a series of steady-state and time resolved spectroscopy experiments revealed a photoinduced electron transfer from the exTTF unit to the electron-accepting SWCNT.