Nav: Home

Deformation of nanotubes to control conductivity

October 23, 2018

Scientists from the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials together with their international colleagues have proved it possible to change the structural and conductive properties of nanotubes by stretching them. This can potentially expand nanotubes' application into electronics and high-precision sensors such as microprocessors and high-precision detectors. The research article has been published in Ultramicroscopy.

Carbon nanotubes can be represented as a sheet of graphene rolled in a special way. There are different ways of «folding» it, which leads to the graphene edges interconnecting at different angles, forming either armchair, zigzag or chiral nanotubes (Pic.1).

Nanotubes are considered to be promising materials for use in electronics and sensors because they have high electrical conductivity, which would work well in things like microprocessors and high-precision detectors. However, when producing carbon nanotubes it is hard to control their conductivity. Nanotubes with metallic and semiconducting properties can grow into a single array while microprocessor-based electronics require semiconducting nanotubes that have the same characteristics.

Scientists from the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials jointly with a research team from Japan, China and Australia, led by Professor Dmitri Golberg, have proposed a method that allows for the modification of the structure of ready-made nanotubes and thus changes their conductive properties.

«The basis of the nanotube - a folded layer of graphene - is a grid of regular hexagons, the vertices of which are carbon atoms. If one of the carbon bonds in the nanotube is rotated by 90° degrees, a pentagon and a heptagon are formed at this [junction] instead of a hexagon, and a so-called Stone-Wales defect is obtained in this case. Such a defect can occur in the structure under certain conditions. Back in the late 90s, it was predicted that the migration of this defect along the walls of a highly heated nanotube with the application of mechanical stress could lead to a change in its structure - a sequential change in the chirality of the nanotube, which leads to a change in its electronic properties. No experimental evidence for this hypothesis has previously been obtained, but our research paper has presented convincing proof of it», said Associate Professor Pavel Sorokin, Doctor of Physical & Mathematical Sciences and head of the «Theoretical Materials Science of Nanostructures» infrastructure project at the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials.

Scientists from the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials have conducted simulations of the experiment at the atomic level. At first, the nanotubes were lengthened to form the first structural defect consisting of two pentagons and two heptagons (a Stone-Wales defect, pic.2a), where the prolonged lengthening of the tube began to «spread» to the sides, rearranging other carbon bonds (pic.2b). It was at this stage that the structure of the nanotubes changed. With further stretching, more and more Stone-Wales defects began to form, eventually leading to a change in the nanotubes' conductivity (Pic. 2).

«We were responsible for the theoretical modeling of the process on a supercomputer in the NUST MISIS Laboratory for Modeling and Development of New Materials for the experimental part of the work. We are glad that the simulation results [support] the experimental data», added Dmitry Kvashnin, co-author of the research work, Candidate of Physical & Mathematical Sciences and a researcher at the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials.

The proposed technology is capable of helping in the transformation of «metallic» nanotubes' structure for their further application in semiconductor electronics and sensors such as microprocessors and ultrasensitive detectors.

National University of Science and Technology MISIS

Related Graphene Articles:

How to stack graphene up to four layers
IBS research team reports a novel method to grow multi-layered, single-crystalline graphene with a selected stacking order in a wafer scale.
Graphene-Adsorbate van der Waals bonding memory inspires 'smart' graphene sensors
Electric field modulation of the graphene-adsorbate interaction induces unique van der Waals (vdW) bonding which were previously assumed to be randomized by thermal energy after the electric field is turned off.
Graphene: It is all about the toppings
The way graphene interacts with other materials depends on how these materials are brought into contact with the graphene.
Discovery of graphene switch
Researchers at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) successfully developed the special in-situ transmission electron microscope technique to measure the current-voltage curve of graphene nanoribbon (GNR) with observing the edge structure and found that the electrical conductance of narrow GNRs with a zigzag edge structure abruptly increased above the critical bias voltage, indicating that which they are expected to be applied to switching devices, which are the smallest in the world.
New 'brick' for nanotechnology: Graphene Nanomesh
Researchers at Japan advanced institute of science and technology (JAIST) successfully fabricated suspended graphene nanomesh (GNM) by using the focused helium ion beam technology.
Flatter graphene, faster electrons
Scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel developed a technique to flatten corrugations in graphene layers.
Graphene Flagship publishes handbook of graphene manufacturing
The EU-funded research project Graphene Flagship has published a comprehensive guide explaining how to produce and process graphene and related materials (GRMs).
How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechani-cal, electronic and optical properties.
Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets
New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene -- a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated.
How do you know it's perfect graphene?
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered an indicator that reliably demonstrates a sample's high quality, and it was one that was hiding in plain sight for decades.
More Graphene News and Graphene Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Debbie Millman: Designing Our Lives
From prehistoric cave art to today's social media feeds, to design is to be human. This hour, designer Debbie Millman guides us through a world made and remade–and helps us design our own paths.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Insomnia Line
Coronasomnia is a not-so-surprising side-effect of the global pandemic. More and more of us are having trouble falling asleep. We wanted to find a way to get inside that nighttime world, to see why people are awake and what they are thinking about. So what'd Radiolab decide to do?  Open up the phone lines and talk to you. We created an insomnia hotline and on this week's experimental episode, we stayed up all night, taking hundreds of calls, spilling secrets, and at long last, watching the sunrise peek through.   This episode was produced by Lulu Miller with Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte, Tobin Low, Sarah Qari, Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Shima Oliaee, and Jonny Moens. Want more Radiolab in your life? Sign up for our newsletter! We share our latest favorites: articles, tv shows, funny Youtube videos, chocolate chip cookie recipes, and more. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at