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High field electro-thermal transport in metallic carbon nanotubes

By Marcelo A. Kuroda and Jean Pierre Leburton


We describe the electro-thermal transport in metallic carbon nanotubes (m-CNTs) by a semi-classical approach that takes into account the high-field dynamical interdependence between charge carrier and phonon populations. Our model is based on the self-consistent solution of the Boltzmann transport equation and the heat equation mediated by a phonon rate equation that accounts for the onset of non-equilibrium (optical) phonons in the high-field regime. Given the metallic nature of the nanostructures, a key ingredient of the model is the assumption of local thermalization of charge carriers. Our theory remarkably reproduces the room temperature electrical characteristics of m-CNTs on substrate and free standing (suspended), shedding light on charge-heat transport in these one dimensional nanostructures. In particular, the negative differential resistance observed in suspended m-CNTs under electric stress is attributed to inhomogeneous field profile induced by self-heating rather than the presence of hot phonons.Comment: 10 pages, 10 figure

Topics: Condensed Matter - Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics
Publisher: 'American Physical Society (APS)'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevB.80.165417
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