Raman response and transport properties of tellurium atomic chains encapsulated in nanotubes

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Department of Physics


Tellurium can form nanowires of helical atomic chains. With their unique one-dimensional van der Waals structure, these nanowires are expected to show physical and electronic properties that are remarkably different from those of bulk tellurium. Here, we show that few-chain and single-chain van der Waals tellurium nanowires can be isolated using carbon nanotube and boron nitride nanotube encapsulation. Wi th this approach, the number of atomic chains can be controlled by the inner diameter of the nanotube. The Raman response of the structures suggests that the interaction between a single-atomic tellurium chain and a carbon nanotube is weak, and that the inter-chain interaction becomes stronger as the number of chains increases. Compared with bare tellurium nanowires on SiO2, nanowires encapsulated in boron nitride nanotubes exhibit a dramatically enhanced current-carrying capacity, with a current density of 1.5 × 108 A cm−2 that exceeds that of most semiconducting nanowires. We also use our tellurium nanowires encapsulated in boron nitride nanotubes to create field-effect transistors with a diameter of only 2 nm.

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Nature Electronics