High-resolution time resolved transmittivity measurements on horizontally aligned free-standing multi-walled carbon nanotubes reveal a different electronic transient behavior from that of graphite. This difference is ascribed to the presence of discrete energy states in the multishell carbon nanotube electronic structure. Probe polarization dependence suggests that the optical transitions involve definite selection rules. The origin of these states is discussed and a rate equation model is proposed to rationalize our findings.
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