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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Mar 26;92(12):125502. Epub 2004 Mar 23.

Smallest carbon nanotube is 3 a in diameter.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 21st Century COE Program "Nano Factory," Meijo University, Nagoya 468-8502, Japan. zhao@ccmfs.meijo-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Previous energetic considerations have led to the belief that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of 4 A in diameter are the smallest stable CNTs. Using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, we find that a stable 3 A CNT can be grown inside a multiwalled carbon nanotube. Density functional calculations indicate that the 3 A CNT is the armchair CNT(2,2) with a radial breathing mode at 787 cm(-1). Each end can be capped by half of a C12 cage (hexagonal prism) containing tetragons.

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