Carbon nanotubes host nano-ribbon creation

August 10, 2011 — University of Nottingham scientists have developed a method to manufacture nanowires using carbon nanotubes (CNT) to host chemical reactions.

Dr Andrei Khlobystov in Nottingham’s School of Chemistry, theoretical chemists based in the university’s School of Chemistry and electron microscopists from Ulm University in Germany collaborated to create chemical reactions in carbon nanotubes. Carbon and sulphur atoms inside a nanotube generate atomic strips of carbon, or graphene nanoribbons, with sulphur atoms around the edge.

The team’s technique of confining the chemical reactions within a nanoscale "container" improves the ease with which nanoribbons are produced, noted Khlobstov. The researchers also discovered that nanoribbons follow an unprecedented helical twist that changes over time. That structure coul allow scientists to control electrical conductivity and other physical properties.

Devices based on nanoribbons could be used as nano-switches, nano-actuators and nano-transistors integrated in computers or data storage devices.

The work is reported in Nature Materials, in "Self-assemby of a Sulphur-Terminated Graphene Nanoribbon within a Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube." Access the paper at Contact Dr Andrei Khlobystov on +44 (0)115 951 3917, [email protected]

The University of Nottingham operates campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia, hosting 40,000 students. More than 90% of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. More news from the University at:


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