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Published September 8, 2000 | public
Journal Article

Quantized Phonon Spectrum of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes


The electronic spectra of carbon nanotubes and other nanoscale systems are quantized because of their small radii. Similar quantization in the phonon spectra has been difficult to observe because of the far smaller energy scale. We probed this regime by measuring the temperature-dependent specific heat of purified single-wall nanotubes. The data show direct evidence of one-dimensional quantized phonon subbands. Above 4 kelvin, they are in excellent agreement with model calculations of individual nanotubes and differ markedly from the specific heat of two-dimensional graphene or three-dimensional graphite. Detailed modeling yields an energy of 4.3 millielectron volts for the lowest quantized phonon subband and a tube-tube (or "lattice") Debye energy of 1.1 millielectron volts, implying a small intertube coupling in bundles.

Additional Information

© 2000 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 11 May 2000; accepted 18 July 2000. Supported by NSF grant DMR-9802560 ( J.H. and A.T.J.), Department of Energy grant DEFG02-98ER45701 ( J.H., Z.B., and J.E.F.), and NSF Materials Research Science Engineering Center grant DMR-9632598. We thank P. Papanek, D. E. Luzzi, and N. M. Nemes for the CP calculation of graphite, HRTEM, and EDX analyses respectively; J.-P. Issi for bringing (20) to our attention; D. Colbert for graciously providing the SWNT material; and E. J. Mele, M. S. Dresselhaus, and A. Mizel for helpful conversations.

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