They exist in many forms — made of metals, semiconductors, insulators and organic compounds — and are being studied for use in electronics, energy conversion, optics and chemical sensing, among other fields. The initial discovery of carbon nanotubes — tiny tubes of pure carbon, essentially sheets of graphene rolled up unto a cylinder — is generally credited to a paper published in by the Japanese physicist Sumio Ijima although some forms of carbon nanotubes had been observed earlier.
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Almost immediately, there was an explosion of interest in this exotic form of a commonplace material. Nanowires — solid crystalline fibers, rather than hollow tubes — gained similar prominence a few years later.
Due to their extreme slenderness, both nanotubes and nanowires are essentially one-dimensional. This sidesteps a major problem with typical crystalline semiconductors, such as those made from a wafer of silicon: There are always defects in those structures, and those defects interfere with the passage of electrons.
Tiny beads of molten gold or other metals are deposited on a surface; the nanowire material, in vapor, is then absorbed by the molten gold, ultimately growing from the bottom of that bead as a skinny column of the material. By selecting the size of the metal bead, it is possible to precisely control the size of the resulting nanowire.
No other known material can produce such extreme length-to-diameter ratios: millions of times longer than they are wide. Because of this, the wires have an extremely high ratio of surface area to volume.
Rezania, Z. RSC Advances , 4 35 , Whereas mechanical, electrical, and electrochemical supercapacitor properties of the carbon nanotubes are well established and have immediate applications , the practical use of optical properties is yet unclear. For the force spectroscopy mode, the sample is loaded in tension, and thus, the data reduction is simple. The microstructures, growth mechanisms and properties of carbon nanowires and nanotubes fabricated at different CVD temperatures. Here, Si NWs will be discussed as an example. Richter, H.
That makes them very good as detectors, because all that surface area can be treated to bind with specific chemical or biological molecules. The electrical signal generated by that binding can then easily be transmitted along the wire.
Compared to solid nanowires, nanotubes have a more complex structure: essentially one-atom-thick sheets of pure carbon, with the atoms arranged in a pattern that resembles chicken wire. They behave in many ways as one-dimensional materials, but are actually hollow tubes, like a long, nanometer-scale drinking straw. The properties of carbon nanotubes can vary greatly depending on how they are rolled up, a property called chirality. In the case of carbon nanotubes, chirality can determine whether the tubes behave as metals or as semiconductors.
But unlike the precise manufacturing control that is possible with nanowires, so far methods for making nanotubes produce a random mix of types, which must be sorted to make use of one particular kind. Besides single-walled nanotubes, they also exist in double-walled and multi-walled forms. In addition to their useful electronic and optical properties, carbon nanotubes are exceptionally strong, and are used as reinforcing fibers in advanced composite materials. MIT News Office. Citations Publications citing this paper. Lin Chen. Morphology, growth and assembly of low dimensional semiconductor nanostructures Hailong Wang.
Andreev bound states in superconductor-quantum dot chains Zhaoen Su. Solanki , Shiqiang Li.
References Publications referenced by this paper. Mesoscopic electron transport Lydia L.
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