A fast, sensitive, automated Fourier transform (FT) photoluminescence (PL) spectrometer with tunable excitation has been developed for analyzing carbon nanotube suspensions over a wide spectral range. A commercially available spectrometer was modified by the addition of a tunable excitation source, custom collection optics, and computer software to provide control and automated data collection. The apparatus enables excitation from 400 to 1100 nm and detection from 825 to 1700 nm, permitting the analysis of virtually all semiconducting single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs), including those produced by the high pressure carbon monoxide conversion and laser processes. The FT approach provides an excellent combination of high sensitivity and fast measurement. The speed advantage exists because the entire emission spectrum is collected simultaneously, while the sensitivity advantage stems from the high optical throughput. The high sensitivity is demonstrated in the measurement of very dilute SWNT suspensions and the observation of novel spectral features, and the speed is demonstrated by measuring the real-time changes in the SWNT PL during rebundling. This contribution describes the assembly of components, the methods for automating data collection, and the procedures for correcting the wavelength-dependent excitation intensity and the interferometer and detector responses.
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