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Scientists scale terahertz peaks in nanotubes
Date:12/9/2013

the small band gaps in semiconducting nanotubes. We rejected that in this paper."

Plasmons are free electrons on the surface of metals like gold, silver or even aluminum nanoparticles that, when triggered by a laser or other outside energy, ripple like waves in a pond. Strong waves can trigger plasmon responses in adjacent nanoparticles. They are being investigated at Rice and elsewhere for use in sophisticated electronic and medical applications.

The Kono group's research showed plasmons rippling at terahertz frequencies only along the length of a nanotube, but not across its width. "The only way charge carriers can move around is in the long direction," Kono said. The researchers previously used this fact to demonstrate that aligned carbon nanotubes act as an excellent terahertz polarizer with performance better than commercial polarizers based on metallic grids.

Nanotubes can be thousands of times longer than they are wide, and the ability to grow them (or cut them) to specific lengths or to dope semiconducting nanotubes to add free carriers would make the tubes highly tunable for terahertz frequencies, Kono said.

"This paper only clarifies the origin of this effect," he said. "Now that we understand it, there's so much to do. We will be making various terahertz devices, architectures and systems based on carbon nanotube plasmons."


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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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