Photoinduced oxidation of carbon nanotubes
Photoinduced phenomena are of general interest for new materials. Recently, photoinduced molecular desorption of oxygen has been reported in carbon nanotubes. Here we present, using thermopower measurements, that carbon nanotubes when exposed simultaneously to UV light and oxygen exhibit photoinduced oxidation of the nanotubes. At least two plausible mechanisms for the experimentally observed photoinduced oxidation are proposed: (i) a lower energy barrier for the adsorption of photo-generated singlet oxygen, or (ii) due to the presence of defects in carbon nanotubes that may facilitate the formation of locally electron-deficient and electron-rich regions on the nanotubes which facilitate the adsorption of oxygen molecules on the nanotubes.