Quiver-quenched optical-field-emission from carbon nanotubes

Chi Li, Xu Zhou, Feng Zhai, Zhenjun Li, Fengrui Yao, Ruixi Qiao, Ke Chen, Dapeng Yu, Zhipei Sun*, Kaihui Liu, Qing Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) enable large electric field enhancement for an extremely broad bandwidth spanning from the optical domain down to static fields. This is due to their high aspect ratio, small tip radius, and high structural stability. CNTs therefore represent an ideal model-system for the investigation of nonlinear and strong-field phenomena. In this paper, we extend the range of optical-field-emission materials from metal nanostructures to CNTs. Quiver-quenched optical-field-emission (i.e., the transition to a sub-cycle regime) is observed for CNTs tips in a short-wavelength laser field of 820 nm that requires a mid-infrared excitation field of conventional metal tips emitters. This special property relies on the ultrasmall tips radius (∼1 nm) and the high optical-field enhancement (∼21.6) properties of CNTs. This study suggests that CNTs are excellent candidates for optically driven ultrafast electron sources with both high spatial and high temporal coherence. They also provide more freedom for the manipulation and control of electron dynamics at the attosecond timescale, which extends the bandwidth of light-wave electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133101
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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