Tuning photoresponse through size control of cu nanoparticles deposited on multi wall carbon nanotubes

M. Scarselli*, L. Camilli, P. Castrucci, S. Del Gobbo, S. Casciardi, F. Tombolini, E. Gatto, M. Venanzi, M. De Crescenzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we illustrate a simple method for the production of multiwall carbon nanotubes thin films decorated with copper metal nanoparticles. The structural information obtained from the transmission electron microscopy study performed on samples differing in the quantity of deposited Copper was linked to the opto-electronic properties evaluated with photo-electrochemical measurements. The photo-response evaluated in terms of incident photon-to-charge carrier generation efficiency varied for different sized-Cu-multiwall carbon nanotubes samples across all the visible and near-ultraviolet photon energy range with respect to the response of bare carbon tubes. The photo-response from the sample covered with of 0.5 nm Cu nominal thickness, reached 10.2%, a value 2 times higher than that measured for bare carbon tubes of 5.9%. While this value decreased to 2.8% when the Cu nominal coverage thickened up to 3 nm. The increase in the photo-response found was interpreted as being the result of a remarkable charge transfer between the Cu metal nanoparticles and the carbon atoms in the tube due to the formation of a strong ionic bond at their interface. The results obtained prove that the metal nanoparticle-carbon nanotube composites have optical, electrical and structural properties that can be applied in a variety of nanoscale architectures for novel photo-electrochemical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9321-9325
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of nanoscience and nanotechnology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon Nanotubes
  • Metal Nanoparticle
  • Photocurrent
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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