A Simple and Universal Technique to Extract One- and Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials from Contaminated Water

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© 2015 American Chemical Society. We demonstrate a universal approach to extract one- and two-dimensional nanomaterials from contaminated water, which is based on a microscopic oil-water interface trapping mechanism. Results indicate that carbon nanotubes, graphene, boron nitride nanotubes, boron nitride nanosheets, and zinc oxide nanowires can be successfully extracted from contaminated water at a successful rate of nearly 100%. The effects of surfactants, particle shape, and type of organic extraction fluids are evaluated. The proposed extraction mechanism is also supported by in situ monitoring of the extraction process. We believe that this extraction approach will prove important for the purification of water contaminated by nanoparticles and will support the widespread adoption of nanomaterial applications.

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ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces