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TU Dresden » Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering » Institute for Materials Science » Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

» presentations   » 2004.05.31-02(06)

Electron transport in carbon nanotube-metal systems: contact effects

N. Ranjan, R. Gutiérrez, S. Krompiewski and G. Cuniberti

Nanostructured systems: Basic Properties and Technology

2004.05.31-02(06); Bedlewo, Poland

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) posses a very large application potential in molecular electronic devices. Infinite single-wall metallic CNTs have theoretically a conductance of 2G0 (G0=2e2/h) because of the two electronic bands crossing the Fermi level. For finite size CNTs experiments have shown that other values are also possible, indicating a very strong influence of the contact. We study electron transport in single- and double-wall CNTs contacted to metallic electrodes with an fcc(111) surface within the Landauer transport formalism combined with Green function techniques. The electronic structure of the CNTs is described with a simple -orbital model. We show that the symmetry of the contact region may lead in some cases to blocking of one of the transport channels reducing the conductance to 1G0 for single-wall CNTs. In the case of double-wall systems with both inner and outer shells being metallic, non-diagonal self energy contributions from the electrodes may induce mixing of the CNT's channels, again reducing the conductance from the theoretically expected value (4G0). Finally, we discuss the influence of inter-wall interactions on the conductance.

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