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Letters to Nature
Nature 361, 333 - 334 (28 January 1993); doi:10.1038/361333a0

Capillarity-induced filling of carbon nanotubes

P. M. Ajayan & Sumio lijima

Fundamental Research Laboratory, NEC Corporation, 34 Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan

THE recent discovery1 and bulk synthesis2 of nanometre-scale carbon tubules has led to much speculation about possible uses of these graphitic structures3–5. Broughton and Pederson predicted on the basis of computer simulations that open nanotubes may be filled with liquid by capillary suction6. Here we describe experiments in which annealing of the tubules in the presence of liquid lead results in opening of the capped tube ends and subsequent filling of the tubes with molten material through capillary action. The nanotubes thus act as moulds for the fabrication of (possibly metallic) wires, some of which are less than two nanometres in diameter.

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References

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2. Ebbesen, T. W. & Ajayan, P. M. Nature 358, 220−222 (1992). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
3. Calvert, P. Nature 357, 365−366 (1992). | Article |
4. Mintmire, J. W., Dunlap, B. I. & White, C. T. Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 631−634 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
5. Hamada, N., Sawada, S. & Oshiyama, A. Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 1579−1581 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
6. Pederson, M. R. & Broughton, J. Q. Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 2689−2692 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
7. Iijima, S., Ajayan, P. M. & Ichihashi, T. Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 3100−3113 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |



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