Functionalization of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) is desirable to enhance their ability to be incorporated into polymers and enhance their bonding with the matrix. One approach to carbon nanotube functionalization is by oxidation via a strong oxidizing agent or refluxing in strong acids. However, this approach can damage the nanotubes, leading to the introduction of defects and/or shorter nanotubes. Such damage can adversely affect the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. A more benign approach to nanotube functionalization has been developed involving photo-oxidation. Chemical analysis by XPS revealed that the oxygen content of the photo-oxidized SWCNTs was 11.3 at.% compared to 6.7 at.% for SWCNTs oxidized by acid treatment. The photo-oxidized SWCNTs produced by this method can be used directly in various polymer matrices or can be further modified by additional chemical reactions.