Carbon nanotubes functionalized with dye molecules and metal nanoparticles

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are highly interesting quasi one-dimensional nanostructures. They possess a multitude of fascinating optical, mechanical and electrical properties, which can be even further expanded through appropriate functionalization strategies. This thesis covers a number of functionalization strategies and their effects on the nanotube's optical and electrical properties. The first part deals with the functionalization of carbon nanotubes with dye molecules and the characterization of the functionalized system. Both covalent and noncovalent approaches were investigated with the goal of modifying the nanotubes' photoelectrical properties. Upon excitation with light of the appropriate wavelength, a clear electrical response could be observed on some functionalized individual nanotubes. Depending on the attached dye molecule, the conductivity change is either induced by a light-induced conformational change or by a charge transfer between the nanotube and the excited dye molecule. The perspectives of constructing an optoelectronic nanoswitch based on these effects are discussed. The second part of the thesis addresses carbon nanotubes functionalized by a low density of electrodeposited gold nanoparticles with sizes in the range between 10 and 100nm. In this case, the functionalization is targeted on amplifying the nanotube's Raman response (SERS effect). The novel sample preparation technique developed in this thesis allowed for an investigation of SERS on the level of individual molecule / nanoparticle hybrids. The optical emission spectra of the nanotube-nanoparticle hybrid structure disclosed Raman peaks associated with the nanotubes, which are superimposed on a broad luminescence background originating from the metal particles. Wavelength dependent experiments revealed maximum Raman intensity when both the nanotube and the metal particle are in optical resonance. In well-prepared samples the Raman signals collected over isolated particles exhibited an intensity enhancement by at least one order of magnitude, as compared to bare sections on the same tube, without appreciably interfering with polarization dependent Raman measurements.


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