C-NANO / Carbon-based nanostructures and hybrid material synthesis

Carbon nanostructures encompass fullerenes, nanotubes, nanohorns/nanocones, graphene and dots. They are a family of materials with enormous potential for applications in the energy sector (solar/photoelectrochemical/fuel cells, H2 production and storage, etc) and the environment (photocatalysis, sensors, CO2 capture, etc), as well as the development of advanced electronic devices (high-frequency electronics, photosensors, etc). Such applications are based on the unique properties of carbon nanostructures (electrical/thermal conductivity, redox and electronic states, etc) and their morphology. However, since carbon nanostructures are insoluble (nanotubes, nanohorns/nanocones, graphene) or show little solubility in certain solvents (fullerenes, dots), their practical applications are limited and chemical functionalization is required. The functionalization of carbon nanostructures results not only to solubility enhancement aiding processability and handling but also furnishes novel hybrid materials with advanced characteristics and properties. The modification of carbon nanostructures can be accomplished via covalent or supramolecular (non-covalent, electrostatic, van der Waals interactions) means. Indicatively, reactions and/or interactions of carbon nanostructures with photo- and/or electro-active molecules/nanoparticles aim on the development of hybrid materials for energy conversion applications (e.g. charge-transfer, solar/photoelectrochemical/fuel cells, H2 production and storage, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, photo-electrocatalysis).


Fully equipped chemical laboratory for the synthesis and functionalization of carbon-based nanostructures and hybrid materials including chemical hoods equipped with vacuum and inert gas lines, rotary vacuum evaporators, drying ovens, vacuum oven with controlled environment, microwave reactor, sonicators (bath and tip), centrifuges, HPLC with 5 different columns for fullerenes (5PYE, ByckyPrep, ByckyPrep-M, 5PBB, RPFULL), 3 high-temperature furnaces (1700οC), etc.


Nanotubes (SWCNTs/DWCNTs/MWCNTs)
Graphene, Carbon dots
Nanodiamonds and diamondoids


- Covalent functionalization and Supramolecular functionalization (non-covalent, electrostatic, van der Waals).
Functionalization of carbon nanostructures is accomplished by means of covalent and non-covalent approaches. Following pre-treatments, i.e. oxidation/doping, heteroatom functionalities are introduced at the graphitic lattice, which can be also exploited for the chemical attachment of other species or used as templates e.g. for the construction of advanced architectures. Conversely, non-covalent approaches offer also a great variety of strategies for the hybridization of carbon nanostructures. Taking advantage of their extended and planal sp2 network, (poly)aromatic compounds can be immobilized via multiple van der Waals interactions onto the surface of CNTs, nanocones and graphene. Alternatively, pre-functionalized carbon nanostructures bearing positively or negatively charged units can be employed for stabilizing negatively or positively charged species, respectively, via attractive electrostatic forces. Covalent and non-covalent approaches can be also combined depending on the material design requirements. Concerning carbon nanostructures owing cavities (fullerenes, nanotubes, nanocones) encapsulation of diverse species can be also take place.
- Separation of (metallo)fullerenes and structural isomers, Oxidation of nanotubes / nanohorns / graphene
- Purification/debundling/exfoliation/doping/encapsulation
- Hybrids synthesis, Electron donor-acceptor hybrids and ensembles
- Charge-transfer, Electrocatalysis, Photocatalysis

Additional Tools

Rotary evaporation, Centrifugation (16x10 mL tubes, 4.400 rpm)
Bath sonication (5 L/400 W/600C, 1.3 L/60 W/800C)
Tip sonication (25-100 W, 20 kHz, equipped with soundproof cabin and thermostated vessel / Module for sealed vessels / Reaction volume 1-2000 mL)
Vacuum line, Furnaces, N2/Ar/CO/HCl(g) supply
Soxhlet extraction, Gravity chromatography, Vacuum (membrane) filtration, 500 W halogen lamp source

Additional Information

Dr. Nikos Tagmatarchis, tagmatar@eie.gr

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