You are on page 1of 23

Carbon Nanotubes

1. INTRODUCTION

Carbon nano-tubes which are about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair
consist of rolled up sheets of carbon hexagons closed at either ends with caps containing
pentagonal rings. After their discovery in 1991,many useful properties and applications have
given the scientists the way to an explosion of research in the field of nanotechnology. Their
useful properties especially in the field of electronics helped the designer to manipulate
extremely small chips with high density. Their mechanical and chemical properties are also
remarkable. Hence the proper study of carbon nano-tubes helps the development in the field
of nanotechnology.

1

Threshold 2004

Carbon Nanotubes

2. DISCOVERY

Carbon nano-tubes are fullerene-related structures, which consist of graphene
cylinders closed at either end with caps containing pentagonal rings. The Japanese scientists
Sumio Iijima discovered a them in 1991.He found that the central core of the cathodic deposit
contained a variety of closed graphitic structures including nano particles and nanotubes. This
gave the way to the deep research of nanotubes.

2.1) Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes
When the sheets of graphite are rolled to form a cylindrical shaped tubes
with opposite ends capped with fullerene, the structure so formed is known as multi-wall
carbon nanotubes. They were discovered in 1991 with the help of standard arc-evaporation
method. The inner wall coupling in multi-wall nanotubes significantly affects their electronics
structure. This is because the individual graphite cylinders within isolated multi-wall tubes
perform extremely soft motion around their axis.

2.2) Single-Layer Nanotubes And Nanotubes “Ropes”
A major event in the development of carbon nanotubes was the synthesis
in 1993 of single–layer nanotubes. The standard arc-evaporation method produces only multilayered tubes. It was found that addition of metals such as cobalt to the graphite electrodes
resulted in extremely fine tube with single-layered tubes it was found that addition of metals
such as cobalt to the graphite electrodes resulted in extremely fine tube with single-layer
walls. The availability of these structures should enable experimentalists to test some of the
theoretical predictions, which have been made about nanotubes properties.

2

Threshold 2004

They were produced by high temperature heat treatments of fullerene soot.Carbon Nanotubes 2. 2. Indeed the realization that the ends of CNTs must be fullerene like “caps” explained the fact that the diameter of CNT could only be as small as fullerene molecule. 2. Sumio Iijima’s group subsequently showed that they could also be produced by laser ablation of graphite. The structure of the compound makes it an ideal candidate for the possibility of tube formation. Edman Tsang and colleagues first prepared single-walled carbon cones with morphologies similar to those of nanotube caps in 1994. This group has demonstrated that Nanohorns have remarkable adsorptive and catalytic properties. I n order to validate our proposal. 3 Threshold 2004 . and that they can be used as component of a new generation of fuel cells. we have conducted realistic calculations of the strain energies needed for rolling up the GaSe sheets and find that the energetic requirements is comparable to those of existing carbon nanotubes.4) Fullerene Caps The discovery of fullerene by Harold Kroto shows that fullerene are pentagonal rings used to cap the two end of CNT.3) Nanohorns Peter Harris.5) GaSe Nanotubes It is proposed to use the GaSe layered compound to form nanotubes. and gave them the name “Nanohorns”.

it is likely that nanotubes at small as 45~A in diameter can be formed and these tubes would have an energy gap of 1. According to the strain energy. 4 Threshold 2004 .Carbon Nanotubes The energy gap of these new nanotubes decreases as the radii of the nanotubes gets smaller. which forms this arrangement. By mixing different elements.7~Ev. it is possible to induce into the layers. The GaSe nanotubes will offer the possibility to study exception in a one-dimension system. which forms in this structure.The compound GaSe is not the only one.

and about 70-90% of the carbon target can be converted to single-wall nanotubes. Flowing argon gas sweeps the nanotubes from the furnace to a watercooled copper collector just outside of the furnace. It depends on the composition of catalyst. When examined in a transmission electron microscope. X-ray diffraction. By using two laser pulses 50ns apart. This scheme provides more uniform vaporization and better control of the growth conditions.A cobalt –nickel catalyst helps the growth of the nanotubes. the nanotube material produced by these method looks like mat of carbon ropes is between 10 & 20 nm across and up to 100 micro m long.Carbon Nanotubes 3.HOW TO MAKE NANOTUBES When the Rice University group found a relatively efficient way to produce bundles of ordered single-wall nanotubes in 1996. In a scanning electron microscope. presumably because it prevents the end from being “capped” during synthesis. also shows that the diameters of the single-wall nanotubes have a narrow distribution with strong peak. 5 Threshold 2004 . growth condition can be maintained over large volume and for longer time. growth temperature and various other growth conditions. each rope is found to a bundle of single-wall carbon nanotubes aligned along a single direction. These ordered nanotubes are prepared by the laser vaporization of a carbon target in a furnace at 1200 C .it open new opportunities for quantitative experimental studies on carbon nanotubes. which views many ropes at once.

1 Types of SWNTs A few key studies have explored the structure of carbon nanotubes using high-resolution microscopy techniques. The different types are most easily explained in term of the unit cell of a carbon nanotube in other words. These experiments have confirmed that nanotube are cylindrical structure based on the hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms that forms crystalline graphite. zigzag and chiral Nanotubes. FOCUS ON STRUCTURE 4. depending on how the two-dimensional graphite sheet is “rolled up”. Fig.1 : Types of Carbon Nanotubes 6 Threshold 2004 . the smallest group of atoms that defines its structure. Three types of nanotubes are possible.Carbon Nanotubes 4. 4. called armchair.

m). ac-c is the distance between neighbouring carbons atoms in the flat sheet In turn. 4. both of which depend on n & m. Fig. Draw two lines (the blue lines) along the tube axis 7 Threshold 2004 . Dt. which can be described by the chiral vector (n. is simply the length of the chiral vector divided by 1/4. The diameter.Carbon Nanotubes The properties of nanotube are determined by their diameter and chiral angle.3 The diagram at the left determines the chiral vector. the chiral angle is given by  = tan -1 ( 3n/2m+n)) Nanotubes form different types.4. Imagine that the nanotube is unraveled into a planar sheet. where n and m are integers of the vector equation R = na1 + ma2 .2 Fig.and we find that Dt = ( 3 /  ) ac-c (m²+mn+n²) ½ Where.

but its direction is a reflection of a 1 over the Armchair line. find any point on one of the blue lines that intersects one of the carbon atoms (point A). draw the Armchair line (the thin yellow line). 8 Threshold 2004 . then it is called an "Armchair" nanotube. Now. Now that you have the armchair line drawn. R (red arrow). if 0°<<30° then it is a "chiral" tube. which travels across each hexagon. then the tube is of the "zigzag" type. find a point along the other tube axis that intersects a carbon atom nearest to the Armchair line (point B). Now connect A and B with our chiral vector. if you cut along the two blue lines and then match their ends together in a cylinder. The vector a 1 lies along the "zigzag" line.Carbon Nanotubes where the separation takes place. All values are for Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWNT's) unless otherwise stated. When added together. they equal the chiral vector R. you get the nanotube that you started with. (not shown) is formed between R and the Armchair line. Otherwise. If R lies along the Armchair line (=0°). Equilibrium Structure Below is a compilation of research results from scientists all over the world. The other vector a2 has a different magnitude than a1. Next. In other words. If =30°. separating them into two equal halves. The wrapping angle .

1) Nano-test-tubes Among the highlight of nanotube research to date is the demonstration that tubes can be opened and filled with a variety of materials included biological molecules some 9 Threshold 2004 .39 Å 5. n) Armchair 3. 0) Zigzag 1.40 g/cm3 Interlayer Spacing: (n.38 Å (n.2-1.C Tight Bonding Overlap Energy ~ 2. 6) Chiral 16.Carbon Nanotubes Average Diameter of SWNT's 1. 5. 0) Zigzag 3. 10) C5V Lattice: Bundles of Ropes of Nanotubes Triangular Lattice (2D) Lattice Constant 17 Å Lattice Parameter: (10. PROPERTIES OF CNT Depending upon how the graphene are rolled up CNT has various properties in various properties in various fields.456 Å Parallel Carbon Bond Separation (Line 3) 2.45 Å Carbon Bond Length (Line 4) 1.34 g/cm3 (12.41 Å (2n.5 eV Group Symmetry (10. n) Chiral 3. 10) Armchair 16. 6) Chiral 1.4 nm Distance from opposite Carbon Atoms (Line 1) 2.78 Å (17. 10) Armchair 1.52 Å (12.83 Å Analogous Carbon Atom Separation (Line 2) 2.42 Å C .33 g/cm3 (17.52 Å Density: (10. 0) Zigzag 16.

5. 5. 5. 5. so perhaps they will become “the ultimate carbon fibers”. Intertube interactions are molded with additional two body long-range interactions. which keep the tube separation to about 3.5a until the deforming forces become too large. Multiwall nanotube and rope deformation is studied for compressive.3) Nanofibres Theory also suggests that nanotubes should be immensely strong.4) Dynamic Deformation of Multiwall Nanotubes and Ropes by Molecular Dynamics Simulations Dynamic Deformation of single and multi-wall nanotubes and nanotube ropes has been studied through large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. bending and torsion strains. For compressive strains.5) Proportionate Characteristics 10 Threshold 2004 . which are very useful &effective in medicines.2) Nanoelectronics Theorists have shown that nanotubes can be conducting or insulating depending on their structure.Carbon Nanotubes anti-biotic molecules can also be stored in carbon nanotubes. All tubes show well-defined structural instabilities when subjected to dynamic deformations. which are analyzed as a function of the applied mechanism and estimation is made of the longitudinal and transverse strains needed to spilt a rope into the constituent nanotubes. For bending and torsion strains we find that multiwall tubes are stiffer than the compressive single wall nanotubes. a more complex behavior is observed. This may lead to application in nanoelectronics.

5. and such nanotubes are metallic. The Fermi level is at E=0 states of lower energy are fully occupied.6) Dispersion Relations These dispersion relations show how the electronic energy in three types of nanotube varies with wave vector. so this nanotube is a semiconductor.0) nanotube (middle). an infinitesimally small amount of energy is needed to excite an electron into an empty exited state. depending on their diameter and chiral angle. while the rest are semiconducting.Carbon Nanotubes The dispersion relationship for small diameter nanotubes show that about one-third of small-diameter nanotubes are metallic. while higher energy states are completely empty.0) nanotubes (right) there is a finite band gap between the occupied and empty states. 11 Threshold 2004 . A small increase in diameter has a major impact on the conduction properties of carbon nanotubes. Each curve corresponds to a single quantum sub-band. In an armchair (5.5) nanotube (left) and a zigzag (9. For a zigzag (10.

5.1. hence on its structure. APPLICATIONS 6. A focused ion beam (FIB) can be used to make the contact electrodes.Carbon Nanotubes Fig.6 6. 12 Threshold 2004 . Another problem is to synthesize carbon tubes with a specific structure. which is first step toward a “nano-electronic”. but not on a large production scale.1) Some electronic application 6. Different carbon nanotube can theoretically form a nano-sized junction. One practical difficulty is the manipulation on nanometre scale. A nano-transistor was realized through the body of a carbon nanotube. This is not affordable with present synthesize methods.1) a) Nano-transistors The conductivity of carbon SWNT depends on its diameter and helicity.

To use nanotubes in future circuits it is essential to be able to make transistor from them. 13 Threshold 2004 . We have successfully fabricated and tested nanotube transistor using individual multi-wall or singlewall nanotubes as the channel of a field effect transistor (FET). at 4K it behaves like a single-electron transistor (SET).000 by changing the voltage applied to gate (VG).1. While the device acts like a field-effect transistor at room temperature. G is the low bias conductance of the tube. We measure the electrical characteristics of our nanotube FETs and find that we can change the amount of current (ISD) flowing through the nanotube channel by a factor of 1000. as can be seen in our data below. As we cool the FET down from room temperature to 4 degree Kelvin (minus 460 degree Fahrenheit) we see the device behavior change dramatically.Carbon Nanotubes 6.1) b) Nanotube field-effect transistor Transistors are the basic building blocks of integrated circuits.

Carbon Nanotubes 14 Threshold 2004 .

The threshold voltage is exceptionally low because of the tip curvature. The energy dispersion of such a beam is of the order 0. because the tip can enter small cavities. 15 Threshold 2004 . because the emission from a single nano-tube is intense and very coherent.2eV. in emission condition.2) AFM/STM Tips Carbon nanotubes are very thin can be used as a nano –tip in both Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and tunneling microscopy. many technical problems are still to the emission phenomenon.1. Carbon form bounds with many materials.3) Electron field emission Electron sources are essential for screen or electron microscopes. A prototype display and a lighting element were already produced. Such a carbon nano-tube tip was proved to be feasible. Hence. Furthermore the exceptional elasticity of the tip avoids the resolution of surface. and the life length of a single tube was found in the order of 2 months.Carbon Nanotubes 6. when submitted to a bias voltage. It also enables an improved resolution of surface irregularities. One problem is the reactivity of the tip with surface material. this application may seem the closest to commercialization at present. Carbon nano-tubes are also interesting for electron microscope emitters. Carbon nano-tubes are a high electron field emission current from their tip.1. to improve the resolution of the image. 6. However. Emitting surfaces were realized by different post-synthesis methods.

because spherical extremities may fix as anchor in the matrix. 6. Nano-onions powders are exceptional solid lubricants. As carbon has an exceptional elastic modulus.) 6. This as demonstrated for powders of WS2 nano-onions. For its good chemical inertness.3) Filters.2.2) Some mechanical applications 6. could lower this problem. especially to oxygen. This may be worse for ropes. tissues. Insulator Materials. using them as reinforcement fibres is a possible way to obtain ultra resistant materials. thermal or acoustic insulator. Tissues.1) Composite Materials The strength of a composite material is linked to the strength of the fibres embedded in the matrix.Carbon Nanotubes 6. As any fibres. h-BN. The typical problem encountered practically is the adherence at contact surface between tubes and matrix material. Tubes may actually slip along the matrix material.2. tubes and ropes could be applied to filters. h-BN is especially interesting for having both a very low friction coefficient and a high range of suitable temperature in air (up to 900°C). in which tubes can slip on each other. The exceptional porosity of such a material.. graphite and WS2 are already intensively used as a solid lubricant in industry. (Tubes with a spherical extremity. or any other fibrous material. This is typically under vacuum or in oxidizing atmosphere.2) Solid Lubricants Solid lubricants are used when conditions do not allow the usage of standard lubrication oil. 16 Threshold 2004 . as synthesized by the present method.2.. because onions act like nanometric ball bearings. but it is probably true for the other materials.

This may be of some interest. first expected as a “global warming effect”.2) Hydrogen Containers Industrial age is causing an exponential growth of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. magnetic particles for data storage could be protected from air. Yb. mainly due to expensive use of fossil energy sources. like thermal conductance or resistance to tearing. this could be applied on a car.3. Zn.) and for some compounds.3. It has been confirmed for many simple elements (Y. makes the research on non-polling energy sources a priority. and/or a higher crossing flux (because the efficient collision surface is very small).Carbon Nanotubes due to the high aspect ration of nanotubes. but this first requires an improvement of mass production. W.1) Nano-shielding Nano-tubes and onions of carbon have the ability to shell many materials inside their structure. Fe. Gd. Sn. Cr. Its energy per mass is higher than usual hydrocarbons. enables a filtering of much smaller particles. Ge…. Pd. 6. because its combustion produces no other release than water. it is present in high quality on earth. Pb. Ni. like metallic nanorods. Further studies are clearly needed. to filter gases in the exhaustive pipe. Furthermore. Mn. Ta. For instance. For instance. Dy. to protect nano-material from their environment. 6. Mo. Other properties of nanotube tissues are not obvious. Bi. Co. especially from oxidation. Si. It also offers a possibility to synthesize diverse hybrid nano-objects. Ti. 17 Threshold 2004 . Cu. Gd.3) Some chemical applications 6. The harmfulness of such change on the ecosystem. Hydrogen is the ideal candidate. inside a tube cavity.

the main limit to the commercialization of hydrogen motor is the difficulty for a safe way to store hydrogen. between 0 and 10 wt % in carbon nanotubes. because their cavity can absorb hydrogen molecules. Such storage was measured with variable success.Carbon Nanotubes Practically. 18 Threshold 2004 . Nano-tubes and nano-onions are thought to be a safe storage.

Even though it has some draw back with the production in mass scale. It’s excellent properties and applications in various fields have made the fabrication process more accurately and compact. we can be able to utilize it with more ease. especially in term of compactness. affords in proper direction may overcome this problem in near future.Carbon Nanotubes 8. 19 Threshold 2004 . CONCLUSION Introduction of carbon nanotube is one of more important break through in nanotechnology development. Hence there is no doubt that with few modifications in CNT.

com/nanotubes) b) K. "Types of Carbon Nanotubes".research.google.Carbon Nanotubes REFERENCES 1) www.ibm. "The science and Technology of carbon Nanotubes". c) Noriaki Hamada and colleagues. Tanaka and T.com a) IBM research lab (www. Yamabe. 20 Threshold 2004 .

Carbon Nanotubes 21 Threshold 2004 .

Carbon Nanotubes 22 Threshold 2004 .

Carbon Nanotubes 23 Threshold 2004 .