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View from Within Carbon Nanotube
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View from Within Carbon Nanotube

July 20, 2010
A view from within a flattened, twisted carbon nanotube.

A team led by Vincent Crespi, associate professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University, has simulated carbon nanotubes smaller and stronger than any other nanotube. Using supercomputers in California, Michigan and Texas to model the electronic states and total energies of various carbon molecules, Crespi and his colleagues discovered a tetrahedral carbon atom that creates tight and stable bonds to form tiny tubes only six atoms across--the smallest diameter theoretically possible. Crespi believes they may prove very useful in nanotechnology applications.

This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant DMR 95-20554.

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