Controlling exciton decay dynamics in semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes by surface acoustic waves

M. E. Regler, H. J. Krenner, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, A. Wixforth, A. Hartschuh

Chemical Physics 413, 39-44 (Febr 2013) DOI: Chemical Physics

We show that the photoluminescence intensity and decay dynamics of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube films can be remotely controlled by surface acoustic waves (SAW) launched on the piezoelectric substrate LiNbO3. Time-resolved measurements in the picosecond regime reveal that photoluminescence quenching results from a decrease of the radiative recombination rate by up to 25 % for the accessible SAW amplitudes. The SAW-induced piezoelectric field acts as a quasi-static perturbation that polarizes the luminescent exciton state reducing the oscillator strength of the radiative transition following a quadratic field dependence. Surface acoustic waves could be used for the remote and contact-free electrical control of high-speed electronic and optoelectronic nanotube-based devices.