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November 15, 2006

Manipulating Carbon Nanotubes

Manipulating Carbon Nanotubes. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have discovered that certain molecules can attach themselves to metallic carbon nanotubes without interfering with their exceptional conducting properties. Key to this property is the ability of cycloaddition fictionalizations to preserve the graphitic bonding environment even after covalent attachment. The molecular orbitals involved in the high conductance state are shown in the left panel (green). Some molecules can even switch between the highly conductive tautomer and a poorly conductive one, where the sidewall carbons revert to sp3 hybridization (right panel, red). Such properties could lead to applications in sensing, imaging or light amplification. This research was supported by National Science Foundation grants DMR 03-04019 and DMR 04-14849. (Date of Image: September 2006)


Credit: Image courtesy Marzari Lab (

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