Carbon Naotube Case Study

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1.1 General

Creation of new materials with novel properties is the main driving force for the development of materials science and technology. Properties of materials are not simply influenced by the chemical bonding and composition, but likewise by the dimensions of materials. As the dimension of a material system reduces to the nm-scale, unique physical and chemical characteristics arise. Nano- materials have been mass fabricated by novel synthetic approaches, and have pulled a great deal interest from scientists and engineers. One interesting case of the nano- materials is carbon nanotubes (CNTs). (REF: Conductive Behaviour of Carbon Nanotube
Based Composites by Xinxin Sun)
After Ijima’s identification of multi walled carbon nanotubes
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1.2.2 Nanotube structure

The primary symmetry classification of a CNT divides them into achiral or chiral [2]. The two possible high symmetry structure known as ‘zig-zag’ and ‘armchair’ illustrated in Figure 2.2 are the only two examples of achiral nanotubes. Nevertheless, it is thought that most nanotubes do not own these highly symmetric forms but have structures in which the hexagons are arranged helically around the tube axis. These structures are mostly known as chiral, since they exist in two mirror related forms. Figure 2.2: Schematic illustration of carbon nantoube structure of (a) armchair and
(b) zig-zag [3]

To simplify the structure of an individual carbon nanotube, a vector C which joins two equivalent points on the original graphene lattice is determined. In this example, the cylinder is produced by rolling up the sheet so that the end-points of the vector are superimposed (Figure 2.3). The chiral vector can be determined by the following

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