In 1995, Smalley and co-workers produced carbon nanotubes using laser ablation technique.
In laser ablation technique, a high power laser was used to vaporize carbon from a graphite target at high temperature. Both MWCNTs and SWCNTs can be produced with this technique.
It uses laser vaporization of graphite rods with a 50:50 mixture of CO and NI powder at 1200 0C followed by heat treatment in vacuum at 1000 0 C to remove fullerenes.
The initial laser vaporization pulse was followed by a second pulse to vaporize the target more uniformly.
The material thus produced appears as mat of ropes 10-20 mm in diameter and upto 100 nanometre or more in length.
Carbon nanotubes produced by laser ablation were purer up to 90% and have a very narrow distribution of diameter.