Broadband thermoacoustic spectroscopy of single walled carbon nanotubes

Daniel R. Bauer, Xiong Wang, Jeff Vollin, Hao Xin, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Thermoacoustic imaging (TAI) is a promising new modality that shows potential for improved detection of small more easily treatable breast tumors. In TAI, an incident microwave pulse is locally absorbed, causing thermoelastic expansion and the generation of ultrasonic waves, which are detected to form an image proportional to the sample's absorption. This study explores the use of spectroscopic TAI used in conjunction with contrast agents, to increase the modality's diagnostic capabilities. The absorption magnitude and spectral properties of metallic and semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) are investigated. At 2.9 GHz both types of nanoparticles were found to generate ∼40% greater TA signal than water. The TA signal of each SWNT type was highly linearly correlated with nanoparticle concentration (R2 ≥ 0.98; p < 0.01). Furthermore, between 7 and 9 GHz, semiconducting and metallic SWNTs both exhibited strong positive absorption slopes of 1.75 AU/GHz and 2.8 AU/GHz, respectively, and relative to water. The absorption spectra of SWNTs could potentially be used to help discriminate them from healthy adipose tissue, enabling highly specific and contrast enhanced detection of small breast tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2012
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2012 - Dresden, Germany
Duration: Oct 7 2012Oct 10 2012

Publication series

NameIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
ISSN (Print)1948-5719
ISSN (Electronic)1948-5727


Other2012 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2012


  • breast cancer
  • contrast agents
  • dielectric properties
  • microwave imaging
  • spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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