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Raman and electron microscopy analysis of carbon nanotubes exposed to high power laser irradiance
Cromer, Christopher L.
Dillon, Anne C.
Mahajan, Roop L.
Lehman, John H.
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High power laser radiometry requires efficient and damage-resistant detectors. The current study explores the evolving nature of carbon nanotube coatings for such detectors upon their exposure to incrementally increasing laser power levels. Electron microscopy images along with the D-band to G-band intensity ratios from the Raman spectra from eight irradiance levels are used to evaluate changes before and after the exposure. Electron microscopy images of the exposed multiwalled carbon nanotubes revealed the formation of intermittent pockets of moundlike structures at high power densities exceeding 11 kW/cm(2). Raman spectroscopy measurements also demonstrated higher values for the ratio of the D-band intensity to that of the G-band, suggesting the possible transformation of nanotubes into structurally different forms of carbon. Exposure to a sample of single-walled nanotubes did not demonstrate the evolution of structural changes, which could be due in part to the higher irradiance levels relative to the damage threshold, employed in the experiment. (C) 2009 American Institute of Physics. [DOI: 10.1063/1.3116165]