Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Magnetism Flicks Switch On 'Dark Excitons'

Date:
January 11, 2006
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Nanoscientists and electrical engineers at Rice University have placed carbon nanotubes inside a strong magnetic field, flipping the switch on 'dark excitons' -- odd quantum pairings of electrons and electron 'holes' that are forbidden by quantum rules from giving off light. The research offers new insight into the fundamental optical properties of semiconducting nanotubes. It appears in this week's issue of the journal Physical Review letters.

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.

The research was funded by the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Rice co-authors include electrical and computer engineering's Sasa Zaric, Gordana Ostojic and Jonah Shaver, and chemistry's Valerie Moore, Robert Hauge and Richard Smalley. Other co-authors include Oliver Portugall, Paul Frings and Geert Rikken, all of the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Pulsés in Toulouse, France; Madalina Furis and Scott Crooker of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Xing Wei of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Magnetism Flicks Switch On 'Dark Excitons'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073403.htm>.
Rice University. (2006, January 11). Magnetism Flicks Switch On 'Dark Excitons'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073403.htm
Rice University. "Magnetism Flicks Switch On 'Dark Excitons'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073403.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

'Robotic Eyes' Helps Japan's Bipedal Bot Run Faster

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 16, 2014) — Japanese researcher uses an eye-sensor camera to enable a bipedal robot to balance itself, while running on a treadmill. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Lockheed Martin's Fusion Concept Basically An Advertisement

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) — Lockheed Martin announced plans to develop the first-ever compact nuclear fusion reactor. But some experts said the excitement is a little premature. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) — A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Science Proves Why Pizza Is So Delicious

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) — The American Chemical Society’s latest video about chemistry in every day life breaks down pizza, and explains exactly why it's so delicious. Gillian Pensavalle (@GillianWithaG) has the video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins