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Beilstein J Nanotechnol. 2015 Feb 25;6:559-69. doi: 10.3762/bjnano.6.58. eCollection 2015.

Chains of carbon atoms: A vision or a new nanomaterial?

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Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg, UMR 7504 CNRS, University of Strasbourg, 23 rue du Loess, 67034 Strasbourg, France.


Linear strings of sp(1)-hybridized carbon atoms are considered as a possible phase of carbon since decades. Whereas the debate about the stability of the corresponding bulk phase carbyne continues until today, the existence of isolated chains of carbon atoms has meanwhile been corroborated experimentally. Since graphene, as the two-dimensional sp(2)-bonded allotrope of carbon, has become a vast field, the question about the importance of one-dimensional carbon became of renewed interest. The present article gives an overview of the work that has been carried out on chains of carbon atoms in the past one or two decades. The review concentrates on isolated chains of carbon atoms and summarizes the experimental observations to date. While the experimental information is still very limited, many calculations of the physical and chemical properties have been published in the past years. Some of the most important theoretical studies and their importance in the present experimental situation are reviewed.


atom chains; carbon; carbyne; one-dimensional solids; sp1 hybridization

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