Computational Studies of Defects in Nanoscale Carbon Materials

May 11, 2009 to May 13, 2009
Location : CECAM-HQ-EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
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Engineering of filled carbon nanotubes in a transmission electron microscope

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) filled with metals, semiconductors and ceramics were manipulated and their transport and mechanical properties were engineered in a high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) equipped with scanning tunneling microscope (STM) or atomic force microscope (AFM) units. Electrical resistance of the tubes was found to be proportional to the length ratio between filled and unfilled (or on-demand emptied) nanotube segments in a style peculiar to a rheostat. The sign of the conductivity change was dependent on the transport properties of the filled matter [1,2]. The release/transport of filled masses from inside of the tubes can be tuned with a femtogram or even attogram precision. In-situ TEM recorded kinetics of nanotube/metal interactions, and interface dynamics under current flow were thoroughly analyzed [3]. Mechanical response of filled nanotubes, e.g. rigidity, ductility, was found to be primarily dependent on the existence or absence of core fillings [4]. The examples discussed include CNT-Cu,[1] CNT-Au,[3] CNT-W,[3] CNT-ZnS,[4] CNT-CuI [2] nanoscale systems. Finally, the in-situ TEM electrical and mechanical probing, and engineering of the sister nanotube system – Boron Nitride – will be briefly demonstrated. [5-8]


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