Functional carbon nanotubes for photonic applications

  • Raz Arif

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Carbon nanomaterials are an active frontier of research in current nanotechnology. Single wall Carbon Nanotube (SWNT) is a unique material which has already found several applications in photonics, electronics, sensors and drug delivery. This thesis presents a summary of the author’s research on functionalisation of SWNTs, a study of their optical properties, and potential for an application in laser physics.
    The first significant result is a breakthrough in controlling the size of SWNT bundles by varying the salt concentrations in N-methyl 2-pyrrolidone (NMP) through a salting out effect. The addition of Sodium iodide leads to self-assembly of CNTs into recognizable bundles. Furthermore, a stable dispersion can be made via addition polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) polymer to SWNTs-NMP dispersion, which indicates a promising direction for SWNT bundle engineering in organic solvents.
    The second set of experiments are concerned with enhancement of photoluminescence (PL), through the formation of novel macromolecular complexes of SWNTs with polymethine dyes with emission from enhanced nanotubes in the range of dye excitation. The effect appears to originate from exciton energy transfer within the solution.
    Thirdly, SWNT base-saturable absorbers (SA) were developed and applied to mode locking of fibre lasers. SWNT-based SAs were applied in both composite and liquid dispersion forms and achieved stable ultrashort generation at 1000nm, 1550nm, and 1800 nm for Ytterbium, Erbium and Thulium-doped fibre laser respectively.
    The work presented here demonstrates several innovative approaches for development of rapid functionalised SWNT-based dispersions and composites with potential for application in various photonic devices at low cost.
    Date of Award7 Jul 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAlex Rozhin (Supervisor) & Sergei Turitsyn (Supervisor)


    • carbon nanotubes
    • polymers
    • polymethine dye
    • photoluminescence
    • spectroscopy
    • saturable absorber
    • mode locked fibre laser

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