MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Electron Transport in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Paul L. McEuen and Ji-Yong Park


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are emerging as an important new class of electronic materials. Both metallic and semiconducting SWNTs have electrical properties that rival or exceed the best metals or semiconductors known. In this article, we review recent transport and scanning probe experiments that investigate the electrical properties of SWNTs.We address the fundamental scattering mechanisms in SWNTs, both in linear response and at high bias.We also discuss the nature and properties of contacts to SWNTs. Finally, we discuss device performance issues and potential applications in electronics and sensing.


  • electron transport;
  • phonon scattering;
  • single-walled carbon nanotubes;
  • scanning probe

Paul L. McEuen joined the faculty of Cornell University in 2001 as a professor of physics. His research examines the science and technology of nanostructures and has included studies of nanotubes, quantum dots, and single molecules. He also develops advanced measurement techniques to probe nanometer-scale systems.

McEuen received his BS degree in engineering physics from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 and his PhD degree in applied physics from Yale University in 1991. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before going to the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992, where he was an assistant professor and later associate professor of physics and a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and recipient of the 2001 Agilent Euro-physics Prize for work on carbon nanotubes.

McEuen can be reached by e-mail at

Ji-Yong Park is a post-doctoral research associate in the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid-State Physics at Cornell University, where he works on electrical and mechanical properties of carbon nanotube devices through electrical transport measurements and scanning probe microscopy.

He received his MA (1995) and PhD (2000) degrees in physics from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. His main interests are transport properties of nanowires and nanotubes, nanoscale characterization of materials with scanning probe microscopy, and nanoelectronic devices.

Park can be reached by e-mail at