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Carbon nanotube (CNT) forests are roughly vertically aligned carbon tubes with a diameter of a few nanometers, and a height of hundreds of micrometers. CNT forests of proper densities and heights can be excellent absorbers of visible light, so a lot of interest has been generated in their application in optical calibration, energy conversion, antireflection, and radiometry. Unfortunately, reflectance from CNTs rises quickly above the mid-infrared range, limiting their present use. Improving a CNT-based broadband absorber requires understanding why the forests have almost zero visible-light reflectance, as well as a strategy to extend that low reflectance into longer wavelengths. Since CNTs are a conducting material, the focus of my research thus far is in developing an analytic model for light scattering from periodic conducting structures. Here I'll present a 1-dimensional (1D) model and examine numerical calculations obtained from it to determine how various parameters affect reflectance. I'll also discuss our efforts to extend that model to the 2D case and some of the issues we've encountered in that.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


analytic model, carbon nanotube, light scattering, nanostructures


Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Light Scattering From Periodic Conducting Nanostructures