Revealing the nature of morphological changes in carbon nanotube-polymer saturable absorber under high-power laser irradiation

Chernysheva, Maria and Al Alraimi, Mohammed and Rance, Graham A. and Weston, Nicola J. and Shi, Baogui and Saied, Sayah and Sullivan, John L. and Marsh, Nicholas and Rozhin, Aleksey (2018) Revealing the nature of morphological changes in carbon nanotube-polymer saturable absorber under high-power laser irradiation. Scientific Reports, 8 . p. 7491. ISSN 2045-2322

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Composites of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and water-soluble polymers (WSP) are the focus of significant worldwide research due to a number of applications in biotechnology and photonics, particularly for ultrashort pulse generation. Despite the unique possibility of constructing non-linear optical SWNT-WSP composites with controlled optical properties, their thermal degradation threshold and limit of operational power remain unexplored. In this study, we discover the nature of the SWNT-polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film thermal degradation and evaluate the modification of the composite properties under continuous high-power ultrashort pulse laser operation. Using high-precision optical microscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, we have examined SWNT-PVA films before and after continuous laser radiation exposure (up to 40 hours) with a maximum optical fluence of 2.3 mJ x cm2. We demonstrate that high-intensity laser radiation results in measurable changes in the composition and morphology of the SWNT-PVA film due to efficient heat transfer from SWNTs to the polymer matrix. The saturable absorber modification does not affect the laser operational performance. We anticipate our work to be a starting point for more sophisticated research aimed at the enhancement of SWNT-PVA films fabrication for their operation as reliable saturable absorbers in high-power ultrafast lasers.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
Identification Number: doi::10.1038/s41598-018-24734-z
Depositing User: Rance, Graham
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 09:50
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 09:15

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