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Chemical Selection of Emission State Configuration in a Quantum Light Emitter



Ming Zheng, Geyou Ao, Stephen K. Doorn


Covalently-introduced photoluminescent sp3 defects generate new emitting states and dramatically expand optical functionality of single-wall carbon nanotubes, opening routes to enhanced imaging, photon upconversion, and room-temperature single photon emission at telecom wavelengths. A significant challenge in harnessing this potential is that the nominally simple reaction chemistry of nanotube functionalization introduces a broad diversity of emitting states. Precisely defining a narrow band of emission wavelengths necessitates constraining these states, which requires a remarkable selectivity in molecular binding configuration on the nanotube surface. We show here that such selectivity can be obtained for aryl binding through functionalization of so-called zigzag nanotube structures, achieving a three-fold narrowing in emission bandwidth. Accompanying DFT modeling reveals that the associated structural symmetry collapses the defect states to two degenerate configurations, thus limiting emission wavelengths to a single narrow band. We show this behavior can only result from a predominant selectivity for ortho binding configurations of the aryl groups on the nanotube lattice.
Nature Chemistry


Zheng, M. , Ao, G. and Doorn, S. (2018), Chemical Selection of Emission State Configuration in a Quantum Light Emitter, Nature Chemistry, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2018, Updated February 7, 2020