Anharmonic phonon lifetimes in carbon nanotubes: Evidence for a one-dimensional phonon decay bottleneck

Rahul Rao, Jose Menendez, Christian D. Poweleit, Apparao M. Rao

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High-resolution Raman spectroscopy is applied to suspended single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to elucidate the puzzling differences in the lifetime of the radial breathing mode (RBM) obtained from different experimental techniques. Whereas recent tunneling experiments suggest a room temperature RBM lifetime as long as 10 ns, previous Raman experiments yield lifetimes shorter than 2 ps. The lifetimes obtained in this study are longer than 5 ps-a significant step in the direction of the tunneling results. We argue that the remaining discrepancy is due to the existence of phonon decay bottlenecks caused by the one-dimensional nature of nanotubes. Numerical simulations of the RBM decay show that it is possible to reconcile the short lifetimes measured spectroscopically with the long lifetimes obtained in tunneling experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number047403
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 26 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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