Ultrafast Dynamics of Individual Air-Suspended Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube
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Thorough understanding of the electronic and optical properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) will no doubt benefit future technological applications. Since the discovery of band gap photoluminescence from isolated semiconducting SWCNTs, significant progresses in studying the optical properties of SWCNTs have been made (e.g. linear polarization along the tube axis for the absorption and emission of light, excitonic nature in SWCNT excitation). However, there are still several controversial parameters of SWCNTs (e.g. quantum efficiency, absorption cross section, radiative lifetime, and Auger recombination lifetime). With the advancement in SWCNT sample preparation, studies of SWCNT intrinsic properties have shifted from ensemble to a single tube level, in which the ambiguities in elucidating intrinsic properties posed by the assortment of different tube species can be minimized. By examining individual SWCNTs suspended in air, in contrast to micelle-encapsulated SWCNTs, we believe that the environmental effects can be reduced. This thesis will demonstrate the capability of doing spectroscopy on a single semiconducting air-suspended SWCNT. In continuous-wave excitation, the photoluminescence excitation map and high resolution photoluminescence (PL) image of a SWCNT can be constructed, and PL polarization is proven. Quantum efficiency of 5% is experimentally estimated for (9,8) and (10,8) chiral SWCNTs. Pulse excitation allows us to study the intrinsic exciton dynamics of a SWCNT. To gain insight into exciton nonlinear decay processes, PL saturation in pump power dependence measurement is investigated and compared to the simulated results from stochastic models of exciton dynamics. Femtosecond excitation correlation spectroscopy with 150 fs time resolution is employed to time-resolve the PL of a single tube suspended in air.