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Sukha Soma Group

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Austin Perez
Austin Perez

Iijima Single Shell Carbon


CARBON nanotubes1 are expected to have a wide variety of interesting properties. Capillarity in open tubes has already been demonstrated2-5, while predictions regarding their electronic structure6-8 and mechanical strength9 remain to be tested. To examine the properties of these structures, one needs tubes with well defined morphologies, length, thickness and a number of concentric shells; but the normal carbon-arc synthesis10,11 yields a range of tube types. In particular, most calculations have been concerned with single-shell tubes, whereas the carbon-arc synthesis produces almost entirely multi-shell tubes. Here we report the synthesis of abundant single-shell tubes with diameters of about one nanometre. Whereas the multi-shell nanotubes are formed on the carbon cathode, these single-shell tubes grow in the gas phase. Electron diffraction from a single tube allows us to confirm the helical arrangement of carbon hexagons deduced previously for multi-shell tubes1.




iijima single shell carbon



  • Multi-wall nanotubes:

  • "Helical microtubules of graphitic carbon" S. Iijima, Nature 354, 56 (1991).

  • Single-wall nanotubes:

  • "Single-shell carbon nanotubes of 1-nm diameter" S. Iijima and T. Ichihashi, Nature 363, 603 (1993).

  • "Cobalt-catalysed growth of carbon nanotubes with single-atomic-layer wall" D. S. Bethune, C. H. Kiang, M. S. DeVries, G. Gorman, R. Savoy and R. Beyers, Nature 363, 605 (1993).

  • Active Research Groups:Peter C. Eklund, Penn State University

  • Patrick Bernier, University of Montpellier II

  • Description of a State-of-the-Art Apparatus:Carbon Arc Discharge at Penn State University

  • Schematic drawings of the electrode set-ups for (a) the conventional and (b) the new arc discharge electrodesSource: Wondrous World of Carbon Nanotubes - Synthesis

  • Critical parameters for growth:Voltage range:???

  • Links:Michael Daenen: Wondrous World of Carbon Nanotubes - Synthesis

Under constructionYour suggestions are welcome!Do you want to


In 1991, Iijima discovered carbon nanotubes (1). He made the best use of his sophisticated high-resolution transmission electron microscopy techniques, which he himself developed, to elucidate the fact that carbon nanotubes are composed of concentric graphene tubes and have a helical atomic arrangement.In 1993, Iijima showed that single-wall nanotubes can be synthesized by a DC arc-discharge of carbon with co-existing metal catalysts (2). In recent years, single-wall carbon nanotubes have been recognized as an ideal one-dimensional substance possessing unique physical and chemical properties that are determined by helicity and diameter. These properties have attracted many researchers in a wide range of fields from academia to industry.The internal hollow spaces and surfaces of carbon nanotubes were shown to provide an entirely new opportunity. Iijima investigated the topology of carbon nanotubes and found that their growth is terminated by introducing five-member rings of carbon into a six-member ring network, which results in capped carbon nanotubes (3). He also discovered that introducing five- and/or seven-member rings into the carbon network during the growth of carbon nanotubes makes rich topological variations (4).Recently, Iijima has further developed atom-sensitive electron microscopy using electron energy loss spectroscopy, and he has even succeeded in detecting the single-atom impurities (or dopants) in carbon nanotubes (5,6). He has thus revealed all of the atomic structures of carbon nanotubes: in 2004 he visualized the individual carbon atoms in carbon nanotubes (7) and provided the first evidence for the point defects in graphene layers, such as vacancies and dislocations (8,9), and in 2005 he eventually elucidated the chirality and handedness relationship between adjacent layers as well as the interlayer defect structures in double-wall carbon nanotubes (10). More recently Iijima has been working to produce single-wall carbon nanotubes in large quantities for the industrial application of carbon nanotubes (11,12).Selected publications: 350c69d7ab


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