A Structure Model and Growth Mechanism for Multishell Carbon Nanotubes

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Science  03 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5202, pp. 1334-1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5202.1334


A model that postulates a mixture of scroll-shaped and concentric, cylindrical graphene sheets is proposed to explain the microstructure of graphite multishell nanotubes grown by arc discharge. The model is consistent with the observed occurrence of a relatively small number of different chiral angles within the same tubule. The model explains clustering in a natural way and is consistent with the observation of asymmetric (0002) lattice fringe patterns and with the occurrence of singular fringe spacings larger than c/2 (c is the c parameter of graphite) in such patterns. Anisotropic thermal contraction accounts for the 2 to 3 percent increase in the c parameter of nanotubes, compared with bulk graphite, but is too small to explain the singular fringe spacings. The model also explains the formation of multishell closure domes. Nucleation is attributed to the initial formation of a fullerene "dome."