Optical absorptance is an important property of carbon nanotubes for practical applications but has rarely been accurately measured. We developed a T type thermal probe method to measure the optical absorptance of an individual multiwall carbon nanotube. In this method, one end of the carbon nanotube (CNT) is attached to the center of a platinum nanofilm in a T shape and the Pt nanofilm acts as a thermometer. A laser beam irradiates at the CNT and the absorbed laser power can be determined by measuring the average temperature rise of the Pt nanofilm based on the temperature dependence of the electric resistance. Experimental results showed that a 100-nm-diameter multiwall CNT could absorb 13.2% of the 514-nm-wavelength laser power with the laser spot diameter being 1 μm. This method is useful for determining the optical absorptance of CNTs and other one-dimensional nanostructures such as Si/Ge nanowires for various optical wavelengths in their photovoltaic, photoelectrolysis and other optical applications.
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