Using in situ Raman spectroscopy we investigate single wall carbon nanotube growth on Mo electrodes, using a highly localized resistive heating technique. Small diameter semiconducting single wall nanotubes grow very rapidly when the catalyst support is heated to a temperature of 800 °C. The G/D ratio shows an interesting time-dependent behaviour. It first decreases, indicating the presence of amorphous carbon and then significantly increases again after ca. 5 min growth while retaining the position and shape expected for predominantly semiconducting carbon nanotubes.