Nano Research

Article Title

Anomalous kink behavior in the current-voltage characteristics of suspended carbon nanotubes


Negative differential conductance, negative differential resistance, hot optical phonons, preferential heating, G band downshift


ABSTRACT Electrically-heated suspended, nearly defect-free, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) exhibiting negative differential conductance in the high bias regime experience a sudden drop in current (or “kink”). The bias voltage at the kink (Vkink) is found to depend strongly on gate voltage, substrate temperature, and gas environment. After subtracting the voltage drop across the contacts, however, the kink bias voltages converge around 0.2 V, independent of gate voltage and gas environment. This bias voltage of 0.2 V corresponds to the threshold energy of optical phonon emission. This phenomenon is corroborated by simultaneously monitoring the Raman spectra of these nanotubes as a function of bias voltage. At the kink bias voltage, the G band Raman modes experience a sudden downshift, further indicating threshold optical phonon emission. A Landauer model is used to fit these kinks in various gas environments where the kink is modeled as a change in the optical phonon lifetime, which corresponds to a change in the non-equilibrium factor that describes the existence of hot phonons in the system.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press