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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 19;99(16):167404. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

Visible fluorescence induced by the metal semiconductor transition in composites of carbon nanotubes with noble metal nanoparticles.

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  • 1DST Unit on Nanoscience, Department of Chemistry and Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai-600 036, India.


We show that single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles emit visible fluorescence in the presence of noble metal nanoparticles and nanorods in the solid state. Conductivity measurements with metallic nanotubes, isolated from pristine SWNTs, show that they become semiconducting in the presence of the metal nanoparticles. Nanoparticle binding increases the defects in the nanotube structures which is evident in the Raman spectra. The metal-semiconductor transition removes the nonradiative decay channels of the excited states enabling visible fluorescence. Nanotube structures are imaged using this emission with resolution below the classical limits.

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