Formation of organic color centers in air-suspended carbon nanotubes using vapor-phase reaction

Daichi Kozawa, Xiaojian Wu, Akihiro Ishii, Jacob Fortner, Keigo Otsuka, Rong Xiang, Taiki Inoue, Shigeo Maruyama, YuHuang Wang, Yuichiro K. Kato

Organic color centers in single-walled carbon nanotubes have demonstrated exceptional ability to generate single photons at room temperature in the telecom range. Combining the color centers with pristine air-suspended nanotubes would be desirable for improved performance, but all current synthetic methods occur in solution which makes them incompatible. Here we demonstrate the formation of color centers in air-suspended nanotubes using a vapor-phase reaction. Functionalization is directly verified by photoluminescence spectroscopy, with unambiguous statistics from more than a few thousand individual nanotubes. The color centers show strong diameter-dependent emission, which can be explained with a model for chemical reactivity considering strain along the tube curvature. We also estimate the defect density by comparing the experiments with simulations based on a one-dimensional exciton diffusion equation. Our results highlight the influence of the nanotube structure on vapor-phase reactivity and emission properties, providing guidelines for the development of high-performance near-infrared quantum light sources.


Nature Communications: