Measurement of complex optical susceptibility for individual carbon nanotubes by elliptically polarized light excitation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Fengrui Yao
  • Can Liu
  • Cheng Chen
  • Shuchen Zhang
  • Qiuchen Zhao
  • Fajun Xiao
  • Muhong Wu
  • Jiaming Li
  • Peng Gao
  • Jianlin Zhao
  • Xuedong Bai
  • Shigeo Maruyama
  • Dapeng Yu
  • Enge Wang
  • Zhipei Sun
  • Jin Zhang
  • Feng Wang
  • Kaihui Liu

Research units

  • Peking University
  • Northwestern Polytechnical University Xian
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • University of Tokyo
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
  • Southern University of Science and Technology
  • University of California at Berkeley


The complex optical susceptibility is the most fundamental parameter characterizing light-matter interactions and determining optical applications in any material. In one-dimensional (1D) materials, all conventional techniques to measure the complex susceptibility become invalid. Here we report a methodology to measure the complex optical susceptibility of individual 1D materials by an elliptical-polarization-based optical homodyne detection. This method is based on the accurate manipulation of interference between incident left- (right-) handed elliptically polarized light and the scattering light, which results in the opposite (same) contribution of the real and imaginary susceptibility in two sets of spectra. We successfully demonstrate its application in determining complex susceptibility of individual chirality-defined carbon nanotubes in a broad optical spectral range (1.6–2.7 eV) and under different environments (suspended and in device). This full characterization of the complex optical responses should accelerate applications of various 1D nanomaterials in future photonic, optoelectronic, photovoltaic, and bio-imaging devices.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3387
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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