Synopsis: Probing Defect Scattering

A scanning probe technique helps identify and characterize defects in a carbon nanotube.
Synopsis figure
S. R. Hunt et al., Phys. Rev. B (2012)

In nanoscale systems, the presence of defects significantly affects transport properties. Writing in Physical Review B, Steven Hunt and co-workers at the University of California, Irvine, present a scanning probe technique that allows them to distinguish different types of defects in single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanotubes are very good nanoscale conductors with a mean free path of the order of a micrometer. The structure of single-walled carbon nanotubes is usually very clean and free of defects, however, when chemically modified or doped, defects can be inadvertently introduced.

Hunt et al. show they can identify point defects caused by the oxidation of nanotubes when immersed in water, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid using the technique of scanning gate spectroscopy, which combines scanning probe microscopy and transport measurements. Based on their measurements, they develop a scattering model that takes into account the kind of defect and its resultant effect on transport. The next step will be to investigate a broader range of defects that occur when functionalizing carbon nanotubes. – Daniel Ucko


Features

More Features »

Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

Nanophysics

Previous Synopsis

Materials Science

An Army of Computing Power

Read More »

Next Synopsis

Atomic and Molecular Physics

The Gravitational Aharonov-Bohm Effect

Read More »

Related Articles

Synopsis: Peering into a Molecular Magnet
Magnetism

Synopsis: Peering into a Molecular Magnet

Researchers characterize the spin couplings in the prototypical single-molecule magnet Mn12 using an advanced neutron scattering technique. Read More »

Synopsis: Magnetic Wand Directs Particles in Microfluidic Device
Fluid Dynamics

Synopsis: Magnetic Wand Directs Particles in Microfluidic Device

Researchers propose a scheme to position, focus, and sort magnetic particles in a microchannel with a magnetic field. Read More »

Viewpoint: Squeezed Environment Boosts Engine Performance
Nanophysics

Viewpoint: Squeezed Environment Boosts Engine Performance

A tiny engine can surpass the Carnot limit of efficiency when researchers engineer the thermal properties of the environment. Read More »

More Articles