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Combined resonance Raman and transport studies of functionalized carbon nanotubes

Final Activity Report Summary - COMTRANS (Combined resonance Raman and transport studies of functionalised carbon nanotubes)

A single wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) is a cylinder-like molecule with a diameter of about 1nm and a length of up to several millimetres. Their physical properties can be derived from graphene, a two-dimensional planar sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Carbon nanotubes are expected to be the constituents for the smallest possible electronic devices because they are mechanically very stable and their electronic properties can be metallic and semiconducting, depending on their diameter.

The quantum nature of these nanometre thin molecular wires is at the heart of understanding the electronic transport and optical properties of these materials. Spectroscopic characterisation, such as those performed in the course of this Marie Curie Fellowship therefore is an indespensable tool for determination of the SWNT diameter and electronic properties for further technological application of the SWNT such as the gate in a field effect transistor or as an optically active element.

Our research proposal was focussed on the combined characterisation of SWNTs and the parent compound, graphene, by optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy and transport measurements. Furthermore electron energy loss spectroscopy and photoemission spectroscopy were used to characterise the properties of SWNTs and graphene sheets. In the course of our research work, we explored synthesis, the photophysics and many body effects of SWNTs and graphene sheets. Eventually, such a research paves the way to devices, on which both, the morphology and the electronic properties can be probed on the same SWNT or graphene layer.

The obtained results were of prime importance not only for basic and fundamental properties such as electron-phonon coupling and superconductivity in carbon systems but also for applications. For example, in the course of this proposal, we have developed a low cost and facile synthesis route for large area and highly crystalline graphene layers that can be transferred to arbitrary substrates.