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Optical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes in a Composite Material : the Role of Dielectric Screening and Thermal Expansion

Sébastien Berger, Florian Iglesias, Pierre Bonnet , G. Cassabois, Jean-Sébastien Lauret, Claude Delalande, Philippe Roussignol, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 105, 094323 (2009)

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We report on environmental effects on the optical properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes in a gelatin-based composite material designed to foster their photoluminescence. We show that the dielectric screening of excitons due to the surrounding medium is responsible for a sizeable shift of the luminescence lines which hardly depends on the tube geometry. In contrast, the temperature dependence (from 4 to 300~K) of the luminescence is clearly chirality dependent~: the first and second excitonic lines shift in opposite directions with a magnitude that can be related quantitatively to a strain-induced modification of the electronic structure due to an expansivity mismatch between the nanotube and the matrix.

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