• carbon nanotubes;
  • thermoacoustic effect;
  • atomic force microscopy;
  • acoustic waves


The thermoacoustic effect of isolated single-wall carbon nanotubes aligned between electrodes is experimentally observed for the first time by imaging the emitted acoustic wave using an atomic force microscopy-based technique specifically developed for the task. The capability of such a technique for single-point thermoacoustic measurements is first verified on carbon nanotubes layers with two electrodes for injecting alternate electric current. The technique is then demonstrated to allow the acquisition, simultaneously with the topography, of images reflecting the pressure of the acoustic wave at fixed distance from the sample. Such a capability is used to collect images reflecting the amplitude of acoustic waves generated by isolated nanotubes and nanotube bundles by the thermoacoustic effect.