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Science. 2000 Mar 10;287(5459):1801-4.

Extreme oxygen sensitivity of electronic properties of carbon nanotubes

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, and Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

The electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes are shown here to be extremely sensitive to the chemical environment. Exposure to air or oxygen dramatically influences the nanotubes' electrical resistance, thermoelectric power, and local density of states, as determined by transport measurements and scanning tunneling spectroscopy. These electronic parameters can be reversibly "tuned" by surprisingly small concentrations of adsorbed gases, and an apparently semiconducting nanotube can be converted into an apparent metal through such exposure. These results, although demonstrating that nanotubes could find use as sensitive chemical gas sensors, likewise indicate that many supposedly intrinsic properties measured on as-prepared nanotubes may be severely compromised by extrinsic air exposure effects.

PMID:
10710305
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