Abstract

We report the controllable conductivity of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes with their surface walls decorated by gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) with varying concentration in terahertz (THz) frequency range. Colloidal Au NPs of nominal diameter 15  nm are synthesized by the reduction of gold chloride solution using tri-sodium citrate. A simple chemical route is followed to attach Au NPs on the surfaces of both types of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The attachment of Au NPs on the sidewalls of CNTs is confirmed by UV-visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope images. THz spectroscopic measurements are carried out at room temperature in transmission geometry in the frequency range of 0.3–2.0 THz. It is found that the THz conductivity of the surface decorated SWNT composites can either be increased or decreased by ±15% than that of the as-prepared SWNT composites by carefully choosing the Au NP concentration. The conductivity variation is qualitatively explained in terms of carrier trapping potential for low Au NP density, and alternative carrier conduction pathways at higher Au NP density and analyzed with the help of a modified universal dielectric relaxation model.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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