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Inorganic nanotube

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An inorganic nanotube is a cylindrical molecule often composed of metal oxides, and morphologically similar to a carbon nanotube. Inorganic nanotubes have been observed to occur naturally in some mineral deposits [1].

Although Linus Pauling mentioned the possibility of curved layers in minerals as early as 1930[2], synthetic inorganic nanotubes did not appear until Reshef Tenne et al. reported the synthesis of nanotubes composed of tungsten disulfide in 1992[3].

In the intervening years, nanotubes have been synthesised of many other inorganic materials, such as vanadium oxide and manganese oxide, and are being researched for such applications as redox catalysts and cathode materials for batteries.

Inorganic nanotubes are heavier than carbon nanotubes and not as strong under tensile stress, but they are particularly strong under compression, leading to potential applications in impact resistant applications such as bullet proof vests.

More recently, inorganic nanotubes have been proposed constructed from main group elements, boron nitride (borazine) being a prime contender. Being as borazine is isoelectronic with benzene, the substance could logically form sheets, fullerene analogs and nanotube analogs. In 2007, Chinese scientists announced the creation in the laboratory of copper and bismuth nanotubes.[4]


Inorganic nanotubes have been made out of the following materials:

See also


  1. ^ Harris, P.F.J. (2002). Carbon nanotubes and related structures, 1st edition, Cambridge University Press, 213–32. ISBN 05-210-053-37. 
  2. ^ Pauling L (1930). "THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHLORITES". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 16 (9): 578–82. doi:doi:10.1073/pnas.16.9.578. PMID 16587609.
  3. ^ Tenne R, Margulis L, Genut M, Hodes G (1992). "Polyhedral and cylindrical structures of tungsten disulphide". Nature 360 (6403): 444-446. doi:10.1038/360444a0.
  4. ^ Electrochemical synthesis of metal and semimetal nanotube–nanowire heterojunctions and their electronic transport properties.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Inorganic_nanotube". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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