Colors of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Nan Wei, Ying Tian, Yongping Liao, Natsumi Komatsu, Weilu Gao, Alina Lyuleeva-Husemann, Qiang Zhang, Aqeel Hussain, Er Xiong Ding, Fengrui Yao, Janne Halme, Kaihui Liu, Junichiro Kono, Hua Jiang, Esko I. Kauppinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


Although single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) exhibit various colors in suspension, directly synthesized SWCNT films usually appear black. Recently, a unique one-step method for directly fabricating green and brown films has been developed. Such remarkable progress, however, has brought up several new questions. The coloration mechanism, potentially achievable colors, and color controllability of SWCNTs are unknown. Here, a quantitative model is reported that can predict the specific colors of SWCNT films and unambiguously identify the coloration mechanism. Using this model, colors of 466 different SWCNT species are calculated, which reveals a broad spectrum of potentially achievable colors of SWCNTs. The calculated colors are in excellent agreement with existing experimental data. Furthermore, the theory predicts the existence of many brilliantly colored SWCNT films, which are experimentally expected. This study shows that SWCNTs as a form of pure carbon, can display a full spectrum of vivid colors, which is expected to complement the general understanding of carbon materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2006395
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number8
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • carbon nanotube thin films
  • color range
  • nanomaterials
  • pigments
  • quantitative coloration model


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