Investigating Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Electronic Structure
George Nazin, Chemistry & Biochemistry

As semiconductor device scaling is reaching its limits with silicon, carbon-based devices are a possible avenue for increasing device density and decreasing cost. In particular, field-effect transistors (FETs) incorporating single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as the channel material are promising candidates. While SWCNT FETs have exhibited performance superior to silicon FETs, their electronic behavior is highly sensitive to environmental effects. Environmental inhomgeneities, such as defects in the gate dielectric of a SWCNT transistor or molecular adsorbates, can perturb the local electronic structure of the SWCNT, leading to localized states. These localized states may trap charge carriers, significantly degrading device performance. The Nazin lab uses scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) to investigate the impact of such inhomgeneities on the electronic structure of SWCNTs.

The undergraduate student involved in the project will participate in the studies of SWCNT electronic structure. Under the guidance of a graduate student, the student will learn about the theory and implementation of STM/STS, conduct STM/STS experiments, and interpret results using relevant theoretical frameworks.