Conducting Carbon Wires in Ordered, Nanometer-Sized Channels

Science  11 Nov 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5187, pp. 1013-1015
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5187.1013


The encapsulation of graphite-type carbon wires in the regular, 3-nanometer-wide hexagonal channels of the mesoporous host MCM-41 is reported. Acrylonitrile monomers are introduced through vapor or solution transfer and polymerized in the channels with external radical initiators. Pyrolysis of the intrachannel polyacrylonitrile results in filaments whose microwave conductivity is about 10 times that of bulk carbonized polyacrylonitrile. The MCM host plays a key role in ordering the carbon structure, most likely through the parallel alignment of the precursor polymer chains in the channels. The fabrication of stable carbon filaments in ordered, nanometer-sized channels represents an important step toward the development of nanometer electronics.