Possible explanation for the conductance of a single quantum unit in metallic carbon nanotubes

Hyoung Joon Choi, Jisoon Ihm, Young Gui Yoon, Steven G. Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The quantum conductance of a metallic carbon nanotube with one end immersed in a jellium metal is studied. We find that the incident π*-band electrons, having a very high angular momentum with respect to the tube axis, go through the tube without being scattered by the free electrons in surrounding metal and contribute a quantum unit (2e2/h) to the conductance. On the other hand, the incident π-band electrons, with the pz atomic orbitals in phase along the tube circumference, experience strong resonant back-scattering because the low-angular-momentum states at the Fermi level have a dominantly metallic character in the nanotube-jellium metal coexistence region. These results provide a possible explanation for the experimentally observed conductance of one quantum unit instead of two for nanotubes with one end dipped into liquid metal such as mercury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R14009-R14011
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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