Vapor-Condensation Generation and STM Analysis of Fullerene Tubes

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Science  23 Apr 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5107, pp. 515-518
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5107.515


Fullerene tubular structures can be generated by vapor condensation of carbon on an atomically flat graphite surface. Scanning tunneling microscope (STM) images revealed the presence of tubes with extremely small diameters (from 10 to 70 angstroms), most of which are terminated by hemispherical caps. Atomic resolution images of such structures showed that the tubes have a helical graphitic nature. The formation of the tubes under the quasi-free conditions suggests that the growth to tubular rather than spherical configurations is preferred for "giant fullerenes."