Multi-walled carbon nanotube conductivity enhancement and band gap widening via rapid pulsed thermal annealing

Matthew Cole, J. T. H. Tsai, Y. T. Chiao, Y. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Herein we report on the transport characteristics of rapid pulsed vacuum-arc thermally annealed, individual and network multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Substantially reduced defect densities (by at least an order of magnitude), measured by micro-Raman spectroscopy, and were achieved by partial reconstruction of the bamboo-type defects during thermal pulsing compared with more traditional single-pulse thermal annealing. Rapid pulsed annealed processed networks and individual multi-walled nanotubes showed a consistent increase in conductivity (of over a factor of five at room temperature), attributed to the reduced number density of resistive axial interfaces and, in the case of network samples, the possible formation of structural bonds between crossed nanotubes. Compared to the highly defective as-grown nanotubes, the pulsed annealed samples exhibited reduced temperature sensitivity in their transport characteristics signifying the dominance of scattering events from structural defects. Transport measurements in the annealed multi-walled nanotubes deviated from linear Ohmic, typically metallic, behavior to an increasingly semiconducting-like behavior attributed to thermally induced axial strains. Rapid pulsed annealed networks had an estimated band gap of 11.26 meV (as-grown; 6.17 meV), and this observed band gap enhancement was inherently more pronounced for individual nanotubes compared with the networks most likely attributed to mechanical pinning effect of the probing electrodes which possibly amplifies the strain induced band gap. In all instances the estimated room temperature band gaps increased by a factor of two. The gating performance of back-gated thin-film transistor structures verified that the observed weak semiconductivity (p-type) inferred from the transport characteristic at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalFullerenes Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Multi-walled carbon nanotubes
  • pulsed annealing
  • recrystallization
  • semiconductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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