Last edited 05 Feb 2018

Carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are allotropes of carbon having a cylindrical nanostructure.

Carbon Nanotubes are a tube-shaped material made up of carbon molecules, having a diameter of approximately a nanometer (one-billionth of a meter or one ten-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair). Carbon nanotubes has many different structures, depending on length, thickness and type of helicity (projection of the spin on direction of momentum), and number of layers.

All carbon nanotubes are made up of similar graphite sheet. However, the electrical characteristics of carbon nanotubes (acting as metals or semiconductor) depends on the structure they exhibit. Carbon nanotubes exhibit excellent mechanical strength, comparable to graphite. They can replace other materials in wide range of application such as; consumer goods, electrical and electronics, energy, healthcare, automobile, aerospace, and defense sectors. Other applications include;, conductive plastics, flat-panel displays, gas storage, batteries with improved lifetime, technical textiles, antifouling paint and micro- and nano-electronics.

Carbon nanotube materials can be categorised on the bases of structure and number of layers; single-wall nanotubes (SWNT) (having diameter close to 1nm), multi-wall nanotubes (MWNT) (diameter ranging between 5 nm to 50 nm) and double-wall nanotubes (DWNT) (sub-segment of multi-wall nanotubes). Multi-wall nanotube has the major market share in the global carbon nanotube market, followed by single-wall nanotubes.

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