POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF NANOTUBES
Because of the curvature, nanotubes exhibit unique electronic
and mechanical properties.
Moreover nanotubes, depending on their structure (i.e.
chirality and radius) can be either metallic or semiconductor.
``These characteristics have generated strong interest in their
possible use in nano-electronic and nano-mechanical devices.''
Because of their very large surface area and curvature
``Large amount of hydrogen and other species can be absorbed on nanotubes,
making them the world's smallest gas tank.''
``This animation shows a classical Monte Carlo absorption simulation
of H2 (white) in a (10,10) carbon nanotube lattice (red) at
25 K and 1 Kbar pressure of H2. The
maximum update is obtained to be around 5 % (by weight). Hydrogen molecules
form two layers inside the nanotubes and a chain of line between
Because of the very large length/diameter of the nanotubes
'' They can be used in composite materials to obtain ultra strong materials.''
Because of the chemical activity of nanotubes
``They can be functionalized with a wide variety of atoms and
This provides opportunities for fabrication of novel
devices. For example a carbon nanotube based gear can be designed
where shifts are the tubes and gear teeth are benzene rings
bonded to the tubes.
''It is certainly too early to know which of nanotube application
mentioned here will become reality. However, it is clear that they
can be only feasible if we have a precise understanding of the
electronic and structural properties of nanotubes. ''