They are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. These cylindrical carbon molecules have unusual properties, which are valuable for nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science and technology. In particular, owing to their extraordinary thermal conductivity and mechanical andelectrical properties, carbon nanotubes find applications as additives to various structural materials. For instance, nanotubes form only a tiny portion of the material(s) in (primarily carbon fiber) baseball bats, golf clubs, or car parts.
The chemical bonding of nanotubes is composed entirely of sp2 bonds, similar to those of graphite. These bonds, which are stronger than the sp3 bonds found in alkanes and diamond, provide nanotubes with their unique strength.
One face of an uncut octahedral diamond (C), showing trigons of positive and negative relief formed by natural chemical etching.
Element of the day: Carbon
Carbon /ˈkɑrbən/ (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. There are three naturally occurring isotopes, with 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.