The specific, local modification of the electronic structure of carbon nanomaterials is as important for novel electronic device fabrication as the doping in the case of silicon-based electronics. Here, we report low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy study of semiconducting carbon nanotubes subjected to hydrogen-plasma treatment. We show that plasma treatment mostly results in the creation of paired electronic states in the nanotube band gap. Combined with extensive first-principle simulations, our results provide direct evidence that these states originate from correlated chemisorption of hydrogen adatoms on the tube surface. The energy splitting of the paired states is governed by the adatom–adatom interaction, so that controlled hydrogenation can be used for engineering the local electronic structure of nanotubes and other sp2-bonded nanocarbon systems.
- carbon nanotubes