skip to main content


Title: Single-ion adsorption and switching in carbon nanotubes

Single-ion detection has, for many years, been the domain of large devices such as the Geiger counter, and studies on interactions of ionized gasses with materials have been limited to large systems. To date, there have been no reports on single gaseous ion interaction with microelectronic devices, and single neutral atom detection techniques have shown only small, barely detectable responses. Here we report the observation of single gaseous ion adsorption on individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which, because of the severely restricted one-dimensional current path, experience discrete, quantized resistance increases of over two orders of magnitude. Only positive ions cause changes, by the mechanism of ion potentialinduced carrier depletion, which is supported by density functional and Landauer transport theory. Lastly, our observations reveal a new single-ion/CNT heterostructure with novel electronic properties, and demonstrate that as electronics are ultimately scaled towards the one-dimensional limit, atomic-scale effects become increasingly important.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. The Aerospace Corp., Segundo, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; physical sciences; nanotechnology; condensed matter; applied physics
OSTI Identifier: