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Strong Acoustic Phonon Localization in Copolymer-Wrapped Carbon Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2015, 00:00 by Ibrahim Sarpkaya, Ehsaneh D. Ahmadi, Gabriella D. Shepard, Kevin S. Mistry, Jeffrey L. Blackburn, Stefan Strauf
Understanding and controlling exciton–phonon interactions in carbon nanotubes has important implications for producing efficient nanophotonic devices. Here we show that laser vaporization-grown carbon nanotubes display ultranarrow luminescence line widths (120 μeV) and well-resolved acoustic phonon sidebands at low temperatures when dispersed with a polyfluorene copolymer. Remarkably, we do not observe a correlation of the zero-phonon line width with 13C atomic concentration, as would be expected for pure dephasing of excitons with acoustic phonons. We demonstrate that the ultranarrow and phonon sideband-resolved emission spectra can be fully described by a model assuming extrinsic acoustic phonon localization at the nanoscale, which holds down to 6-fold narrower spectral line width compared to previous work. Interestingly, both exciton and acoustic phonon wave functions are strongly spatially localized within 5 nm, possibly mediated by the copolymer backbone, opening future opportunities to engineer dephasing and optical bandwidth for applications in quantum photonics and cavity optomechanics.