Measuring Carbon Nanotubes with a Benchtop Raman Spectrometer

Carbon Nanotubes and other carbon nanomaterials can be characterized with a small benchtop Raman spectrometer using an implemented software tool.

Analysis via Raman spectroscopy is an easy way to get insight into the properties and purity of carbon nanotubes. From the Raman spectrum of the sample, it is possible to determine the amount and distribution of structural defects as well as the number of layers and waviness in the hexagonal lattice. Control of these parameters is critical in order to control the macroscopic properties and hence ultimately the function of the product.

Because of the incredibly thin layer of carbon materials this process is traditionally performed using a Raman microscope, i.e. a Raman spectrometer coupled with a microscope, in order to get very high spatial resolution and a sufficiently small focus volume. Such Raman microscope systems are bulky and expensive, and for many applications there is no need to perform surface mapping or chemical imaging, so there is no other benefit of having a microscope. This report shows that Anton Paar’s benchtop Raman spectrometer, Cora 5001, provides enough throughput to obtain a graphene spectrum without the need to use expensive microscope objectives. In addition, the variant with sample compartment is a laser class 1 instrument which enables Raman measurements without laser safety risks.

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