𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗯𝗼𝗻 𝗡𝗮𝗻𝗼𝘁𝘂𝗯𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝟭𝗗 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹. This means that in one dimension, i.e. the length of the tubes, are outside of the nanoscale whereas the diameters are measured in nanometers. For comparison, 1 nanometer is a billionth of a meter!
One tube of carbon is called a single-walled nanotube whereas tubes within tubes are called multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are made by rolling up a single sheet of graphene or by rolling up multiple sheets of graphene for multi-walled nanotubes.
𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗯𝗼𝗻 𝗡𝗮𝗻𝗼𝘁𝘂𝗯𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲:
💪 Very high in tensile strength - i.e. the ability of a material to resist a force that tends to pull it apart
⚡ Extremely electrically and thermally conductive
~ Very elastic and highly flexible
➠ 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀
Carbon nanotubes are excellent candidates as conductive fillers because they have the highest aspect ratio of any carbon fibre. This means that a lower concentration of carbon nanotubes is required for the same electrical conductivity when compared to other conductive additives.
Carbon nanotubes have a high surface-to-volume ratios and can be functionalized with specific chemical groups to tailor selectivity in sensing. This means modifying the surface of the carbon nanotubes to detect specific particles.
➠ 𝗗𝗿𝘂𝗴 𝗗𝗲𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆
Carbon nanotubes are promising drug delivery platforms because they can be filled and functionalized with a variety of molecules such as antibodies, proteins and DNA. The carbon nanotubes can easily penetrate cells for targeted drug delivery.
➠ 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗲
Energy storage systems have been using carbon nanotubes as an additive to improve the conductivity of cathode materials for batteries and supercapacitors.