Logo IMG
HOME > PAST ISSUE > Article Detail


Fullerene Nanotubes: C1,000,000 and Beyond

Some unusual new molecules—long, hollow fibers with tantalizing electronic and mechanical properties—have joined diamonds and graphite in the carbon family

Boris Yakobson, Richard Smalley


One of the authors (Yakobson) is grateful to the Wright Laboratory Materials Directorate and NASA Ames Center for their support. Work at Rice University was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. Both authors thank numerous colleagues for their contributions.


  • Banhart, F., and P. M. Ajayan. 1996. Carbon onions as nanoscopic pressure cells for diamond formation. Nature 382:433-435.
  • Bethune, D. S., C. H. Kiang, M. S. de Vries, G. Gorman, R. Savoy, J. Vazques and R. Beyers. 1993. Cobalt-catalysed growth of carbon nanotubules with single-atomic-layer walls. Nature 363:605-607.
  • Bockrath, M., D. H. Cobden, P. L. McEuen, N. Chopra, A. Zettl, A. Thess and R. E. Smalley. 1997. Single-electron transport in ropes of carbon nanotubes. Science 275:1922-1925.
  • Chico, L., V. H. Crespi, L. X. Benedict, S. G. Loui and M. L. Cohen. 1996. Pure carbon nanoscale devices: nanotube heterojunctions. Physical Review Letters 76:971-974.
  • Chopra, N. G., L. X. Benedict, V. H. Crespi, M. L. Cohen, S. G. Louie and A. Zettl. 1995. Fully collapsed carbon nanotubes. Nature 377:135-138.
  • Clarke, Arthur C. 1979. The Fountains of Paradise. New York: Jovanovich. Dai, H., J. H. Hafner, A. G. Rinzler, D. T. Colbert and R. E. Smalley. 1996.
  • Dai, H., J. H. Hafner, A. G. Rinzler, D. T. Colbert and R. E. Smalley. 1996. Nanotubes as nanoprobes in scanning probe microscopy. Nature 384:147-150.
  • Dai, H., E. W. Wong and C. M. Lieber. 1996. Probing electrical transport in nanomaterials: Conductivity of individual carbon nanotubes. Science 272:523-526.
  • Despres, J. F., E. Daguerre and K. Lafdi. 1995. Flexibility of graphene layers in carbon nanotubes. Carbon 33:87-92.
  • Dresselhaus, M. S., G. Dresselhaus and P. C. Eklund. 1996. Science of Fullerenes and Carbon Nanotubes. San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Ebbesen, T. W., and P. M. Ajayan. 1992. Large-scale synthesis of carbon nanotubes. Nature 358:220-222.
  • Ebbesen, T. W., H. J. Lezec, H. Hiura, J. W. Bennett, H. F. Ghaemi and T. Thio. 1996. Electrical conductivity of individual carbon nanotubes. Nature 382:54-56
  • Fischer, J. E., H. Dai, A. Thess, R. Lee, N. M. Hanjani, D. DeHaas and R. E. Smalley. 1997. Metallic resistivity in crystalline ropes of single-wall carbon nanotubes. Physical Review B 55:R4921-4924.
  • Haddon, R. C. 1993. Chemistry of the fullerenes: The manifestation of strain in a class of continuous aromatic molecules. Science 261:1545-1550.
  • Heer, W. A., W. S. Bacsa, A. Chatelain, T. Geftin, R. Humphrey-Baker, L. Forro and D. Ugarte. 1995. Aligned carbon nanotube films: Production and optical and electronic properties. Science 268:845-847.
  • Iijima, S. 1991. Helical microtubules of graphitic carbon. Nature 354:56-58.
  • Iijima, S., and T. Ichihashi. 1993. Single-shell carbon nanotubes of 1-nm diameter. Nature 361:603-605.
  • Iijima, S., C. J. Brabec, A. Maiti and J. Bernholc. 1996. Structural flexibility of carbon nanotubes. Journal of Chemical Physics 104:2089-92.
  • Joachim, C., and J. K. Gimzewski. 1997. An electromechanical amplifier using a single molecule. Chemical Physics Letters 265:353-357.
  • Isaacs, J. D., A. C. Vine, H. Bradner and G .E. Bachus. 1966. Satellite elongation into a true sky-hook. Science 151:682-683.
  • Kratschmer, W., L. D. Lamb, K. Fostiropoulos and D. R. Huffman. 1990. Solid C60: a new form of carbon. Nature 347:354-358.
  • Langer, L., V. Bayot, E. Grivei, J.-P. Issi, J. P. Heremans, C. H. Olk, L. Stockman, C. Van Haesendonck and Y. Bruynseraede. 1996. Quantum transport in a multiwalled carbon nanotube. Physical Review Letters 76:479-482.
  • Liu, J., H. Dai, J. H. Hafner, D. T. Colbert, R. E. Smalley, S .J. Tans and C. Dekker. 1997. Fullerene crop circles. Nature 385:781-782.
  • Mintmire, J. W., B. I. Dunlap and C. T. White. 1992. Are fullerene tubules metallic? Physical Review Letters 68:631-634.
  • Rao, A. M., E. Richter, S. Bandow, B. Chase, P. C. Eklund, K. A. Williams, S. Fang, K. R. Subbaswamy, M. Menon, A. Thess, R. E. Smalley, G. Dresselhaus and M. S. Dresselhaus. 1997. Diameter-selective Raman scattering from vibrational modes in carbon nanotubes. Science 275:187-191.
  • Rinzler, A. G., J. H. Hafner, P. Nikolaev, L. Lou, S. G. Kim, D. Tomanek, P. Norlander, D. T. Colbert and R. E. Smalley. 1995. Unraveling nanotubes: field emission from an atomic wire. Science 269:1550-1553.
  • Ruoff, R. S., J. Tersoff, D. C. Lorents, S. Subramoney and B. Chan. 1993. Radial deformation of carbon nanotubes by van der Waals forces. Nature 364:514-516.
  • Saito, R., M. Fujita, G. Dresselhaus and M.S. Dresselhaus. 1992. Electronic structure of chiral graphene tubules. Applied Physics Letters 60:2204-2206.
  • Scuseria, G. E. 1992. Negative curvature and hyperfullerenes. Chemical Physics Letters 195:534-536.
  • Tans, S. J., M. H. Devoret, H. Dai, A. Thess, R. E. Smalley, L. J. Geerligs and C. Dekker. 1997. Individual single-wall carbon nanotubes as quantum wires. Nature 386:474-476.
  • Terrones, M., N. Grobert, J. Olivares, K. Kordatos, W. K. Hsu, J. P. Zhang, J. P. Hare, H. W. Kroto, K. Prassides, A. K. Cheetham, P. Townsend and D. R. M. Walton. In press. Controlled production of aligned nanotube bundles. Nature. Thess, A., R. Lee, P. Nikolaev, H. Dai, P. Petit, J. Robert, C. Xu, Y. H. Lee, S. G. Kim, A. G. Rinzler, D. T. Colbert, G. Scuseria, D. Tomanek, J. E. Fischer and R .E. Smalley. 1996. Crystalline ropes of metallic nanotubes. Science 273:483-487.
  • Treacy, M. M. J., T. W. Ebbesen and J. M. Gibson. 1996. Exceptionally high Youngs modulus observed for individual carbon nanotubes. Nature 381:678-680.
  • Yakobson, B. I. 1991. Morphology and rate of fracture in decomposition of solids. Physical Review Letters 67:1590-1593.
  • Yakobson, B. I., C. J. Brabec and J. Bernholc. 1996a. Nanomechanics of carbon tubes: Instabilities beyond the linear response. Physical Review Letters 76:2511-2514.
  • Yakobson, B. I., C. J. Brabec and J. Bernholc. 1996b. Structural mechanics of carbon nanotubes: From continuum elasticity to atomistic fracture. Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design 3:173-182.
  • Yakobson, B. I., M. P. Campbell, C. J. Brabec and J. Bernholc. In press. Tensile strength, atomistics of fracture, and C-chain unraveling in carbon nanotubes. Computational Materials Science.

comments powered by Disqus


Subscribe to American Scientist