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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 5 (2003) pp 315-317

Demonstrating the Metallic Nature of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Using FT-Raman Spectroscopy

Laura Taylor, Jerry Purcell, Jennifer Jones, Bethany Kuhns, Jessanna Smith, Katie Olsen, and Thomas Manning*

Department of Chemistry, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31698,
Received March 10, 2003. Accepted May 25, 2003.

Published online: 27 August 2003

Abstract. Photothermal emission from black substances is a well-known interference in FT-Raman spectroscopy when a relatively high power laser is used in the near infrared. This photothermal emission appears as a large, broad spectral feature in the 28003300 cm1 region. We demonstrate that when KBr(s) is used as a matrix for measuring the Raman spectra of single-wall nanotubes (SWNTs), the photothermal emission disappears. We attribute this reduction to thermal transfer of energy from the SWNTs to the KBr. This demonstrates heat conduction, which is one of the characteristics of a metal. This is outlined as a three-hour laboratory for an upper-level science course that allows students to work with carbon-based nanostructures using a well-established technique.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; interdisciplinary

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: October 1, 2003

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