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New hybrid carbon material discovered
Date:9/21/2011

New hybrid carbon material, which combines both graphene and SWNTs, Graphene Nanoribbons encapsulated into Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (GNR@SWNTs) have been discovered by researchers from Aalto University (Finland) and Umea University.

Carbon nanotubes and graphene materials have attracted enormous interest from a broad range of specialists.

- We came up with the idea to create a novel hybrid material, which combines two most fascinating carbon nanomaterials - single-walled carbon nanotubes and grapheme, says Doctor Albert Nasibulin from Aalto University.

SWNTs have a hollow space inside, which was used in this study as an 1-dimensional chemical reactor. An intriguing property of this space is that chemical reactions occur differently compared to the bulk 3D conditions. Large polyaromatic hydrocarbon molecules (coronene and perylene), which can be imagined as small pieces of graphene, were used as building blocks to produce long and narrow graphene nanoribbons inside the nanotubes.

It was found that the shape of encapsulated graphene nanoribbons can be modified by using different kinds of polyaromatic hydrocarbon molecules. Nanoribbons can be either metallic or semiconductor depending on their width and type. Interestingly, SWNTs can also be metallic, semiconducting (depending on their chirality) or insulating when chemically modified.

This creates enormous potential for a wide range of applications: Now we can prepare GNR@SWNT in all possible combinations. For example, metallic nanoribbon inside insulating nanotube can be considered as the thinnest insulated nanowire. Nanoribbons can be used directly inside of SWNTs to generate light (e.g. as light emitting diodes), which will easily go through nanotubes and GNRs and by using of existing energy barrier will became a nano-lamp. Semiconducting nanoribbons can be used for transistor or solar cell applications. Metalli-metallic combination is in fact a new kind of
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Contact: Dr Albert Nasibulin
albert.nasibulin@aalto.fi
358-503-397-538
Aalto University
Source:Eurekalert

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