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Pseudospin-dependent scattering in carbon nanotubes

: Mayrhofer, L.; Bercioux, D.


Physical Review. B 84 (2011), No.11, Art. 115126
ISSN: 0163-1829
ISSN: 1098-0121
ISSN: 0556-2805
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWM ()

The breaking of symmetry is the ground on which many physical phenomena are explained. This is important in particular for bipartite lattice structure as graphene and carbon nanotubes, where particle-hole and pseudo-spin are relevant symmetries. Here we investigate the role played by the defect-induced breaking of these symmetries in the electronic scattering properties of armchair single-walled carbon nanotubes. From Fourier transform of the local density of states we show that the active electron scattering channels depend on the conservation of the pseudo-spin. Further, we show that the lack of particle-hole symmetry is responsible for the pseudo-spin selection rules observed in several experiments. This symmetry breaking arises from the lattice reconstruction appearing at defect sites. Our analysis gives an intuitive way to understand the scattering properties of carbon nanotubes and can be employed to newly interpret several experiments on this subject. Further, it can be used to design devices such as pseudo-spin filter by opportune defect engineering.