Nano Letters

Strong and Broadly Tunable Plasmon Resonances in Thick Films of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes

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Low-dimensional plasmonic materials can function as high quality terahertz and infrared antennas at deep subwavelength scales. Despite these antennas' strong coupling to electromagnetic fields, there is a pressing need to further strengthen their absorption. We address this problem by fabricating thick films of aligned, uniformly sized semiconducting carbon nanotubes and showing that their plasmon resonances are strong, narrow, and broadly tunable. With thicknesses ranging from 25 to 250 nm, our films exhibit peak attenuation reaching 70%, ensemble quality factors reaching 9, and electrostatically tunable peak frequencies by a factor of 2.3. Excellent nanotube alignment leads to the attenuation being 99% linearly polarized along the nanotube axis. Increasing the film thickness blueshifts the plasmon resonators down to peak wavelengths as low as 1.4 μm, a new near-infrared regime in which they can both overlap the S11 nanotube exciton energy and access the technologically important infrared telecom band.