Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetism flicks switch on ’dark excitons’

11.01.2006


Tests at leading magnetic labs shed light on nanotube mystery



In new experimental research appearing in this week’s issue of Physical Review Letters, a Rice University-led team of nanoscientists and electrical engineers has flipped the switch on ’dark excitons’ in carbon nanotubes by placing them inside a strong magnetic field.

The research offers new insight into the fundamental optical properties of semiconducting nanotubes, hollow straw-like molecules of pure carbon. Leading computing companies would like to use nanotubes as optical components in next-generation microchips that are faster, more powerful and more energy efficient.


"Single-walled carbon nanotubes offer engineers the intriguing possibility of building chips where electrical inputs can be converted into light and moved about the chip as optical signals rather than electrical signals," said lead researcher Junichiro Kono, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice. "Thus far, the poor optical performance of nanotubes -- in some cases as few as one in 100,000 incoming photons causes a fluorescent emission -- has prevented engineers from developing the technology for applications."

Kono said the new research may help scientists formulate new tests to answer some of the most perplexing questions about the optical properties of nanotubes. For example, scientists are currently debating whether low fluorescence efficiencies in nanotubes arise from the intrinsic physical structure of nanotubes or from external factors like structural defects and impurities. Some of the leading theories have the missing light disappearing into "dark" excitons – odd quantum pairings of electrons and electron "holes" that are forbidden by quantum rules from fluorescing. The new magnetic method of overcoming this dark exciton effect could be used to probe the intrinsic properties of nanotubes and help settle the debate.

The team tested materials in some of the world’s most powerful magnetic fields. Experiments were conducted at both the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Pulsés in Toulouse, France, and at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.

"We hope that our experimental methods will help better inform theorists and ultimately aid in the development of new devices with far superior functions than those based on existing technology," said Sasa Zaric, whose doctoral dissertation will be based on the work.

Nanotubes are a fraction of the size of transistors used in today’s best microchips. As electronic components, nanotubes could reduce power demands and heating in next-generation chips. But as optical components they offer far more. The replacement of copper cables with fiberoptics revolutionized the volume and speed of data transmission in the telecom industry 20 years ago, and the parallels in microchips are tantalizing.

Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rice.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>