Changes in the vibrational modes of carbon nanotubes induced by electron-beam irradiation: Resonance Raman spectroscopy


Influence of electron-beam (e-beam) irradiation on multi-walled (MW) and single-walled (SW) carbon nanotube films grown by microwave chemical vapor deposition technique is investigated. These films were subjected to an e-beam energy of 50 keV from a scanning electron microscope for 2.5, 5.5, 8.0, and 15 h, and to 100 and 200 keV from a transmission electron microscope for a few minutes to ∼2 h continuously. Such conditions resemble an increased temperature and pressure regime enabling a degree of structural fluidity. To assess structural modifications, they were analyzed prior to and after irradiation using resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) in addition to in situ monitoring by electron microscopy. The experiments showed that with extended exposures, both types of nanotubes displayed various local structural instabilities including pinching, graphitization/amorphization, and formation of an intramolecular junction (IMJ) within the area of electron beam focus possibly through amorphous carbon aggregates. RRS revealed that irradiation generated defects in the lattice as quantified through (1) variation of the intensity of radial breathing mode (RBM), (2) intensity ratio of D to G band (ID/IG), and (3) positions of the D and G bands and their harmonics (D* and G*) and combination bands (D + G). The increase in the defect-induced D band intensity, quenching of RBM intensity, and only a slight increase in G band intensity are some of the implications. The MW nanotubes tend to reach a state of saturation for prolonged exposures, while the SW ones transform from a semiconducting to a quasi-metallic character. Softening of the q = 0 selection rule is suggested as a possible reason to explain these results. Furthermore, these studies provide a contrasting comparison between MW and SW nanotubes.


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Document Type




Electron-beam, Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, Resonance Raman spectroscopy, Single-walled carbon nanotubes

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Raman Spectroscopy