Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

pp 689-703

Carbon Nanotubes, Thermo-mechanical and Transport Properties of

  • H. Rafii-TabarAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesDepartment of Nano‐science, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM)

Definition of the Subject

Carbon nanotubes form the fourth allotrope of crystalline carbon after graphite, diamond, and a variety of caged‐like fullerene molecules, and were discovered in the early 1990s. Their mechanical properties make them stronger than steel, and their thermal conductivity is faster than copper. They have very exotic electronic‐conduction properties, namely, by changing their geometry, or introducing topological defects into their structure, their electronic conductance can change from metals to semi‐conductors. They can also be used to store gases and transport fluids. Furthermore, nano‐scale robots, machines, and sensors can be constructed from them, and these can be used to deliver drugs to specific locations in the body, or detect individual cancer cells, or be used as molecular filters to separate minute particles from the environment. Carbon nanotubes are referred to as the fabric of n ...

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