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Atom collision-induced resistivity of carbon nanotubes

Journal article
Authors H E Romero
Kim Bolton
Arne Rosen
P C Eklund
Published in SCIENCE
Volume 307
Issue 5706
Pages 89-93
ISSN 0036-8075
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 89-93
Language en
Subject categories Physical Sciences


We report the observation of unusually strong and systematic changes in the electron transport in metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes that are undergoing collisions with inert gas atoms or small molecules. At fixed gas temperature and pressure, changes in the resistance and thermopower of thin films are observed that scale as roughly M-1/3, where M is the mass of the colliding gas species (He, Ar, Ne, Kr, Xe, CH4, and N-2). Results of molecular dynamics simulations are also presented that show that the maximum deformation of the tube wall upon collision and the total energy transfer between the colliding atom and the nanotube also exhibit a roughly M-1/3 dependence. it appears that the transient deformation (or dent) in the tube wait may provide a previously unknown scattering mechanism needed to explain the atom collision-induced changes in the electrical transport.

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