Identifying and characterizing the structural integrity of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are fully embedded in a polymer matrix without causing any damage to them is a difficult task to achieve for bulk samples. Using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, the surface of a polymer-embedded conductive network of SWCNTs was mapped underneath a thin layer of pure polymer. The technique was also used to detect tube-breaking within the composite sample caused by mechanical stress, beyond the 'visual' capabilities of scanning electron microscopy techniques. Results show that tip-enhanced Raman mapping can be used to successfully identify and characterize SWCNTs even underneath a layer of polymer.
- Conductive composites
- Epoxy/amine systems
- Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)
- Tip-enhanced Raman mapping (TERM)
- Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS)