Inorganic tubes get smaller than ever

10:51am, May 2, 2001

Researchers have created the smallest stable, freestanding nanotubes yet. The molybdenum disulfide tubes, each less than 1 nanometer (nm) in diameter, could eventually become components of novel materials, electronic devices, and batteries, say the scientists.

Previous experiments have produced tubes of carbon just 0.4 nm wide, but those structures were created in the confined spaces of zeolite crystals or larger carbon nanotubes (SN: 12/16/00, p. 398). The new, inorganic tubes form in bundles from which the researchers can remove individual tubes, says Dragan Mihailovic of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia, whose team reports the structures in the April 20 Science.

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