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January 29th, 2010
Single-walled carbon nanotubes, SWNTs are the focus of much research aimed at building sophisticated nanoscopic structures for future electronic and spintronic devices.
However, several conundrums surround their bizarre electrical conductivity behaviour, not least the issue of bandgap measurements and how these relate to the size and structure of semiconducting SWNTs.
Researchers have succeeded in making a wide variety of SWNTs of different internal diameters, lengths, and chirality, all of which are being tested in many different ways. One important facet of the carbon SWNT is that they might also provide scientists with a useful model system for observing physical effects constrained to the simplified realm of one dimension. Moreover, the ability to bundle the nanotubes together then adds the possibility of studying many-body interactions, such as strong electron to electron phenomena, inside each distinct 1D object.
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