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Selected Topics in Physics: Physics of Nanoscale Carbon


Nanoscale carbons range from carbon nanotubes over fullerenes and diamondoids up to graphene (the topic of the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics). In the seminar we will focus on one-dimensional carbon nanotubes and the two-dimensional graphene. These two materials share outstanding properties: They conduct electrical currents without scattering, their thermal conductance is ten times better than silver, and they are much stronger than steel. At the same time the tubes and graphene are optically transparent and mechanically flexible. In this course we will see that the unique properties of the nano carbons can be understood from their peculiar electronic structure, nanoscale quantum confinement, and the special geometry of tubes and planes. We will also discuss possible application for nanoscale carbons and the challenges for using their outstanding properties in macroscopic devices. During the course students will give presentations of selected topics (to be announced on the homepage). We also expect students to participate actively in the discussion following each presentation.