Quasi-one-dimensional fullerene-nanotube composites: Structure, formation energetics, and electronic properties
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Carbon nanotubes coated with close-packed C60 (or C70) fullerenes, which are “attached” to the nanotubes by van der Waals forces, are considered and classified as a new class of nanocomposites. Semiempirical and molecular-dynamics calculations reveal the most energetically stable systems and show that a topological (Stone-Wales) defect on a nanotube can promote a more favorable “attachment” of fullerene to the nanotube. It has been shown that the molecular interaction of the fullerene coating with the nanotube leads to a significant change in its electronic spectrum, namely, to the formation of minibands including a large number of branches associated with the lift of the degeneracy of levels of C60 and to the consolidation of branches of the carbon nanotube into the Brillouin zone smaller than that in the carbon nanotube. This fact should strongly change the interaction of light with such a nanocomposite as compared to carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, which provides prospect of its application in photovoltaics.
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