Alignment dynamics of single-walled carbon nanotubes in pulsed ultrahigh magnetic fields

Jonah Shaver, A. Nicholas G. Parra-Vasquez, Stefan Hansel, Oliver Portugall, Charles H. Mielke, Michael Von Ortenberg, Robert H. Hauge, Matteo Pasquali, Junichiro Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We have measured the dynamic alignment properties of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) suspensions in pulsed high magnetic fields through linear dichroism spectroscopy. Millisecond-duration pulsed high magnetic fields up to 56 T as well as microsecond-duration pulsed ultrahigh magnetic fields up to 166 T were used. Because of their anisotropic magnetic properties, SWNTs align in an applied magnetic field, and because of their anisotropic optical properties, aligned SWNTs show linear dichroism. The characteristics of their overall alignment depend on several factors, including the viscosity and temperature of the suspending solvent, the degree of anisotropy of nanotube magnetic susceptibilities, the nanotube length distribution, the degree of nanotube bundling, and the strength and duration of the applied magnetic field. To explain our data, we have developed a theoretical model based on the Smoluchowski equation for rigid rods that accurately reproduces the salient features of the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalACS nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorption spectra of molecules
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Dichroism of molecules
  • Light absorption and transmission, generation of high magnetic fields
  • Optical properties of carbon nanotubes


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