Terahertz Dynamics of Quantum-Confined Electrons in Carbon Nanomaterials

  • Lei Ren
  • Qi Zhang
  • Sébastien Nanot
  • Iwao Kawayama
  • Masayoshi Tonouchi
  • Junichiro Kono


Low-dimensional carbon nanostructures, such as single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene, offer new opportunities for terahertz science and technology. Being zero-gap systems with a linear, photon-like energy dispersion, metallic SWCNTs and graphene exhibit a variety of extraordinary properties. Their DC and linear electrical properties have been extensively studied in the last decade, but their unusual finite-frequency, nonlinear, and/or non-equilibrium properties are largely unexplored, although they are predicted to be useful for new terahertz device applications. Terahertz dynamic conductivity measurements allow us to probe the dynamics of such photon-like electrons, or massless Dirac fermions. Here, we use terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to investigate terahertz conductivities of one-dimensional and two-dimensional electrons, respectively, in films of highly aligned SWCNTs and gated large-area graphene. In SWCNTs, we observe extremely anisotropic terahertz conductivities, promising for terahertz polarizer applications. In graphene, we demonstrate that terahertz and infrared properties sensitively change with the Fermi energy, which can be controlled by electrical gating and thermal annealing.


Terahertz Nanotube Graphene Anisotropic Polarization 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (through Grant Nos. OISE-0530220 and OISE-0968405), the Department of Energy (through Grant No. DEFG02-06ER46308), and the Robert A. Welch Foundation (through Grant No. C-1509). We thank Cary L. Pint and Robert H. Hauge for providing us with the aligned carbon nanotube films and Jun Yao, Zhengzong Sun, Zheng Yan, Zhong Jin, and James M. Tour for providing us with the large-area graphene samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Ren
    • 1
  • Qi Zhang
    • 1
  • Sébastien Nanot
    • 1
  • Iwao Kawayama
    • 2
  • Masayoshi Tonouchi
    • 2
  • Junichiro Kono
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Laser EngineeringOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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