Hot Rods

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Science  07 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5647, pp. 951
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5647.951c

A number of methods have been developed for the synthesis of single-and multiwalled carbon nanotubes. However, these methods typically require high temperatures and complex procedures, or they use metallic catalyst particles that need to be retrieved in a second stage. Kang et al. show that it is possible to make multiwalled tubes directly from graphite rods. They heated the rods in air until they were red hot (above 800°C) and then plunged them into freezing water. After a “slight explosion,” the water became turbid, and after repeating this cycle many times, they obtained a yield of about 40%. The authors suggest that the rapid quenching and the thermal gradient across the graphite layers causes them to curve and crimp, allowing the edges to bond to each other. The nanotubes have an inner diameter between 5 and 10 nm, and an outer diameter between 30 and 50 nm, and appear to be straight and free of defects. — MSL

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja037399m (2003).

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