The aim of this work is to investigate and characterize the photo-ignition process of dry multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) mixed with ferrocene (FeCp2) powder, using an LED (light-emitting diode) as the light source, a combination that has never been used, to the best of our knowledge. The ignition process was improved by adding a lipophilic porphyrin (H2Pp) in powder to the MWCNTs/FeCp2 mixtures—thus, a lower ignition threshold was obtained. The ignition tests were carried out by employing a continuous emission and a pulsed white LED in two test campaigns. In the first, two MWCNT typologies, high purity (HP) and industrial grade (IG), were used without porphyrin, obtaining, for both, similar ignition thresholds. Furthermore, comparing ignition thresholds obtained with the LED source with those previously obtained with a Xenon (Xe) lamp, a significant reduction was observed. In the second test campaign, ignition tests were carried out by means of a properly driven and controlled pulsed XHP70 LED source. The minimum ignition energy (MIE) of IG-MWCNTs/FeCp2 samples was determined by varying the duration of the light pulse. Experimental results show that ignition is obtained with a pulse duration of 110 ms and a MIE density of 266 mJ/cm2. The significant reduction of the MIE value (10–40%), observed when H2Pp in powder form was added to the MWCNTs/FeCp2 mixtures, was ascribed to the improved photoexcitation and charge transfer properties of the lipophilic porphyrin molecules.
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