Ultrashort Carbon Nanotubes That Fluoresce Brightly in the Near-Infrared

Noémie Danné, Mijin Kim, Antoine G. Godin, Hyejin Kwon, Zhenghong Gao, Xiaojian Wu, Nicolai F. Hartmann, Stephen K. Doorn, Brahim Lounis, Yuhuang Wang, Laurent Cognet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The intrinsic near-infrared photoluminescence observed in long single-walled carbon nanotubes is known to be quenched in ultrashort nanotubes due to their tiny size as compared to the exciton diffusion length in these materials (>100 nm). Here, we show that intense photoluminescence can be created in ultrashort nanotubes (∼40 nm length) upon incorporation of exciton-trapping sp3 defect sites. Using super-resolution photoluminescence imaging at <25 nm resolution, we directly show the preferential localization of excitons at the nanotube ends, which separate by less than 40 nm and behave as independent emitters. This unexpected observation opens the possibility to synthesize fluorescent ultrashort nanotubes - a goal that has been long thought impossible - for bioimaging applications, where bright near-infrared photoluminescence and small size are highly desirable, and for quantum information science, where high quality and well-controlled near-infrared single photon emitters are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6059-6065
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • doping
  • emission centers
  • exciton localization
  • photoluminescence
  • single molecules
  • super-resolution microscopy
  • ultrashort carbon nanotube


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