Monday, June 17, 2013

1306.3430 (Iek-Heng Chu et al.)

First-Principles Studies of Photoinduced Charge Transfer in
Noncovalently Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes

Iek-Heng Chu, Dmitri S. Kilin, Hai-Ping Cheng
We have studied the energetics, electronic structure, optical excitation, and electron relaxation of dinitromethane molecules (CH$_{2}$N$_{2}$O$_{4}$) adsorbed on semiconducting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of chiral index (n,0) (n=7, 10, 13, 16, 19). Using first-principles density functional theory (DFT) with generalized gradient approximations and van der Waals corrections, we have calculated adsorption energies of dinitropentylpyrene, in which the dinitromethane is linked to the pyrene via an aliphatic chain, on a CNT. A 75.26 kJ/mol binding energy has been found, which explains why such aliphatic chain-pyrene units can be and have been used in experiments to bind functional molecules to CNTs. The calculated electronic structures show that the dinitromethane introduces a localized state inside the band gap of CNT systems of n=10, 13, 16 and 19; such a state can trap an electron when the CNT is photoexcited. We have therefore investigated the dynamics of intra-band relaxations using the reduced density matrix formalism in conjunction with DFT. For pristine CNTs, we have found that the calculated charge relaxation constants agree well with the experimental time scales. Upon adsorption, these constants are modified, but there is not a clear trend for the direction and magnitude of the change. Nevertheless, our calculations predict that electron relaxation in the conduction band is faster than hole relaxation in the valence band for CNTs with and without molecular adsorbates.
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