Inorganic nanotubes

Reshef Tenne, C. N. R. Rao


Following the discovery of carbon fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, it was hypothesized that nanoparticles of inorganic compounds with layered (two–dimensional) structure, such as MoS2, will not be stable against folding and form nanotubes and fullerene–like structures: IF. The synthesis of numerous other inorganic nanotubes has been reported in recent years. Various techniques for the synthesis of inorganic nanotubes, including high–temperature reactions and strategies based on ‘chemie douce’ (soft chemistry, i.e. low–temperature) processes, are described. First–principle, density functional theory based calculations are able to provide substantial information on the structure and properties of such nanotubes. Various properties of inorganic nanotubes, including mechanical, electronic and optical properties, are described in brief. Some potential applications of the nanotubes in tribology, protection against impact, (photo)catalysis, batteries, etc., are discussed.

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