Pristine and Filled Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Authored by: Zujin Shi , Zhiyong Wang , Zhennan Gu

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075427
eBook ISBN: 9781420075434
Adobe ISBN:


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As one of the most important materials in the nano area, carbon nanotubes have generated broad and interdisciplinary attention in the last two decades (Dresselhaus and Dai 2004). Their outstanding properties have been studied extensively and much effort has been devoted to their applications in areas of energy storage, electronics, sensors, and more (Baughman et al. 2002; Pengfei et al. 2003; Avouris and Chen 2006; Ajayan and Tour 2007). Research on carbon nanotubes has been primarily focused on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) (Iijima 1991) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) (Bethune et al. 1993; Iijima and Ichihashi 1993). Ever since the breakthrough of the macroscale selective synthesis of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) (Hutchison et al. 2001), they have increasingly drawn scientific interest due to their attractive structures and properties. Strictly speaking, DWNTs are one kind of MWNTs. However, DWNTs’ properties are remarkably different from those of MWNTs with three or more graphitic shells. As the intermedium between SWNTs and MWNTs, DWNTs possess the advantages of both MWNTs and SWNTs, i.e., excellent mechanical and electrical properties. More importantly, DWNTs offer lots of unique characteristics over SWNTs and MWNTs. For example, DWNTs provide simple models for the investigation of intertube interaction (Saito et al. 1993a; Zolyomi et al. 2006; Tison et al. 2008). Impressive results have been attained regarding the effects of intertube interaction on the properties of DWNTs. Furthermore, the outer tube of a DWNT can serve as a protector for the inner tube (Iakoubovskii et al. 2008). When the outer tubes are covalently functionalized, the inner tubes still retain their electronic and optical properties (Hayashi et al. 2008). Thus, the inner and outer tubes can play different roles simultaneously in electronic and optical devices.

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