Broken symmetry and pseudogaps in ropes of carbon nanotubes

Paul Delaney, Hyoung Joon Choi, Jisoon Ihm, Steven G. Louie, Marvin L. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the influence of tube-tube interactions in ropes of (10, 10) carbon nanotubes, and find that these effects induce a pseudogap in the density of states (DOS) of the rope of width 0.1 eV at the Fermi level. In an isolated (n, n) carbon nanotube there are two bands that cross in a linear fashion at the Fermi level, making the nanotube metallic with a DOS that is constant in a 1.5 eV wide window around the Fermi energy. The presence of the neighbouring tubes causes these two bands to repel, opening up a band gap that can be as large as 0.3 eV. The small dispersion in the plane perpendicular to the rope smears out this gap for a rope with a large cross-sectional area, and we see a pseudogap at the Fermi energy in the DOS where the DOS falls to one third of its value for the isolated tube. This phenomenon should affect many properties of the behavior of ropes of (n, n) nanotubes, which should display a more semimetallic character than expected in transport and doping experiments, with the existence of both hole and electron carriers leading to qualitatively different thermopower and Hall-effect behaviors from those expected for a normal metal. Band repulsion like this can be expected to occur for any tube perturbed by a sufficiently strong interaction, for example, from contact with a surface or with other tubes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7899-7904
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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