Catalysis & sensors

Apart the uses of metal decoration of nanohorns, a well investigated class of promising catalysts, they are used as a novel and biocompatible matrix for fabricating biosensing devices.


Chloramphenicol (CAP)s a bacteriostatic antibiotic for the treatment of life threatening infections but, owing to serious side effects,  many countries have imposed a strict ban on its use in food-producing animals. Therefore, effective monitoring ofCAP is urgently important. A sandwich nanohybrid of single-walled carbon nanohorn-TiO 2-porphyrin was prepared, which showed an excellent electrocatalytic activity towards the reduction of chloramphenicol in neutral media, leading to a highly sensitive and stable amperometric biosensor for CAP.

The determination of hydrogen peroxide is of great importance in many different fields, such as food, clinical, pharmaceutical, industrial and environmental analyses. A third-generation amperometric biosensor, based on the direct electron transfer between an electrode and immobilized peroxidase, is especially promising because of its practical advantages. The direct immobilization of acid-stable and thermostable soybean peroxidase (SBP) on SWCNH modified electrode surface was the basis for the direct electrochemistry of enzyme reaching for this H2O2 biosensor a detection limit of 5.0 × 10-7 mmol L-1


The chemical functionalization of carbon materials has traditionally posed a challenge in chemistry and engineering. Functionalization enhances solubility and reactivity of carbon materials and provides starting materials for chemical synthesis. The attachment of matter such as particles, e.g. nano-sized metal or metalloid particles, on a carbon support, is also significantly facilitated by the introduction of functional groups on the carbon surface. Recently, functionalization of SWCNH was successfully obtained, opening various application potentials, starting from their complete solubilization in water media.

Gas Storage

Applications of SWCNH in hydrogen and methane storage are well studied and applied. Recently, nanohorns were discovered to be also a good fluorine storage material: a novel fluorinated carbon nanohorn having a high fluorine storage per unit mass which can bear repeated storage of fluorine and enables to take out a fluorine gas of high purity by a safe and efficient method.

Analytical Chemistry

A new dispersive micro solid-phase extraction method which uses single-walled carbon nanohorns (SWNHs) as sorbent was proposed. The procedure combines the excellent sorbent properties of the carbon nanoparticles with the efficiency of the dispersion of the material in the sample matrix. Under these conditions, the interaction with the analytes is maximized. The determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was selected as model analytical problem. The limits of detection achieved were between 30 and 60ngL -1 with a precision (as repeatability) better than 12.5%

References & Examples

Hydrogen peroxide biosensor based on direct electrochemistry of soybean peroxidase immobilized on single-walled carbon nanohorn modified electrode - Biosensors and Bioelectronics Volume 24, Issue 5, 1 January 2009, Pages 1159–1163

Sandwich nanohybrid of single-walled carbon nanohorns-TiO 2-porphyrin for electrocatalysis and amperometric biosensing towards chloramphenicol - Chemical Communications (28) 2009, pp. 4227-4229

Patent WO2008090728 - Catalyst-supporting carbon nanohorn composite and process for producing the same

Patent WO2011154894 - Solutions of carbon nanohorns, method for making same and uses thereof

Patent WO2007077823 - Fluorine storage material

Evaluation of single-walled carbon nanohorns as sorbent in dispersive micro solid-phase extraction - Analytica Chimica Acta, 714 (2012) pp. 76-81





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