Carbon Nanotubes: Electronic Structure and Physical Properties -- Update

Philippe Lambin, Valentin Popov

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Discovered in 1991, carbon nanotubes are molecules of pure carbon having the shape of a long, hollow cylinder with diameter in the nanometer range. More precisely stated, a nanotube is a cylindrical variety of graphite. A single-wall nanotube is just one atomic layer thick, that is, one seamless rolled-up graphene layer. Multiwall nanotubes are composed of several coaxial graphitic layers, with a separation distance of 0.34 nm. The electronic properties of a thick multiwall nanotube resemble those of graphite, which is semimetallic. Remarkably enough, a single-wall nanotube can be a metal or a semiconductor depending on its exact atomic structure. A metallic single-wall nanotube often conducts electrons ballistically, which means that electrons flow through it over long distances (micrometers) without collisions. A semiconducting single-wall nanotube has a band gap of about 0.6 eV, depending on its diameter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering
PublisherElsevier
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128035818
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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  • Cite this

    Lambin, P., & Popov, V. (2016). Carbon Nanotubes: Electronic Structure and Physical Properties -- Update. In Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering [02296] Elsevier.