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A carbon molecule that resembles a cylinder made out of chicken wire one to two nanometers in diameter by any number of millimeters in length. Accidentally discovered by a Japanese researcher at NEC in 1990 while making Buckyballs, they have potential use in many applications. With a tensile strength 10 times greater than steel at about one quarter the weight, nanotubes are considered the strongest material for their weight known to mankind.

Myriad Applications
Currently used to strengthen plastics and carbon fibers, nanotubes have the potential for making ultra-strong fabrics as well as reinforcing structural materials in buildings, cars and airplanes. In the future, nanotubes may replace silicon in electronic circuits, and prototypes of elementary components have been developed. In 1998, IBM and NEC created nanotube transistors, and three years later, IBM created a NOT gate using two nanotube transistors. Nanotubes are already used as storage cells in Nantero's non-volatile memory chips (see NRAM), and they are expected to be used in the construction of sensors and display screens.

Single Walled and Multiwalled
Single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) use a single sheath of graphite one atom thick, called "graphene." Multiwalled nanotubes (MWNTs) are either wrapped into multiple layers like a parchment scroll or are constructed of multiple cylinders, one inside the other. See Buckyball, graphene, nanotechnology and NRAM.

The Chicken Wire Tube
At the molecular level, a single-walled carbon nanotube looks a lot like rolled up chicken wire with hexagonal cells. The number of applications that may ultimately benefit from carbon nanotubes is enormous.
References in periodicals archive ?
This end-bonded contact scheme allows the contacts to be shrunken down to below 10 nanometers without deteriorating performance of the carbon nanotube devices.
2005, "Mass production of high-quality multi-walled carbon nanotube bundles on a Ni/Mo/MgO catalyst.
Two major producers of carbon nanotubes are investing to increase production capacity.
Single-walled carbon nanotubes are a form of carbon, like graphite or diamond, where the atoms are arranged similar to a rolled-up tube of chicken wire.
Carbon nanotubes are a completely new carbon system material, which was discovered in 1991 by one of NEC's research fellows, Sumio Iijima.
Depending on their size and shape, the electronic properties of carbon nanotubes can be metallic or semiconducting.
The aerodynamic behaviour and pulmonary deposition of carbon nanotubes
This 'end-bonded contact scheme' allows the contacts to be shrunken down to below 10 nanometers without deteriorating performance of the carbon nanotube devices.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- A group of Iranian specialists introduced a new method for determining properties of nanocomposites reinforced by carbon nanotubes.
com/research/30c30f/global_carbon_nano) has announced the addition of the "Global Carbon Nanotube Market 2010-2014" report to their offering.
The license agreement will help BMS to continue to grow its position as one of the world's leading carbon nanotube suppliers by providing its customers access to additional applications for BMS's carbon nanotube based products.