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Nat Nanotechnol. 2008 Apr;3(4):201-5. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2008.60. Epub 2008 Mar 23.

Terahertz time-domain measurement of ballistic electron resonance in a single-walled carbon nanotube.

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  • 1Center for Nanoscale Systems, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

Abstract

Understanding the physics of low-dimensional systems and the operation of next-generation electronics will depend on our ability to measure the electrical properties of nanomaterials at terahertz frequencies ( approximately 100 GHz to 10 THz). Single-walled carbon nanotubes are prototypical one-dimensional nanomaterials because of their unique band structure and long carrier mean free path. Although nanotube transistors have been studied at microwave frequencies (100 MHz to 50 GHz), no techniques currently exist to probe their terahertz response. Here, we describe the first terahertz electrical measurements of single-walled carbon nanotube transistors performed in the time domain. We observe a ballistic electron resonance that corresponds to the round-trip transit of an electron along the nanotube with a picosecond-scale period. The electron velocity is found to be constant and equal to the Fermi velocity, showing that the high-frequency electron response is dominated by single-particle excitations rather than collective plasmon modes. These results demonstrate a powerful new tool for directly probing picosecond electron motion in nanostructures.

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PMID:
18654503
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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