Alignment enhanced photoconductivity in single wall carbon nanotube films.

Abstract

In this paper we report, for the first time, the alignment enhanced photoconductivity of single wall carbon nanotube films upon laser illumination. The photoconductivity exhibited an increase, decrease or even 'negative' values when the laser spot was on different positions between contact electrodes, showing a 'position' dependent photoconductivity of partially aligned films of carbon nanotubes. Photon induced charge carrier generation in single wall carbon nanotubes and subsequent charge separation across the metal-carbon nanotube contacts is believed to cause the photoconductivity changes. A net photovoltage of approximately 4 mV and a photocurrent of approximately 10 microA were produced under the laser intensity of approximately 273 mW with a quantum efficiency of approximately 7.8% in vacuum. The photocurrent was observed to be in the direction of nanotube alignment. Finally, there was a strong dependence of the polarization of the incident light on the photocurrent and the orientation of the films influenced the dynamics of the rise and fall of the photocurrent. All of these phenomena clearly have significance in the area of design and fabrication of solar cells, micro-opto-mechanical systems and photodetectors based on carbon nanotubes.

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