The discovery of ‘fullerenes’ added a new dimension to the knowledge of carbon science1; and the subsequent discovery of ‘carbon nanotubes’ (CNTs, the elongated fullerene) added a new dimension to the knowledge of technology2;. Today, ‘nanotechnology’ is a hot topic attracting scientists, industrialists, journalists, governments, and even the general public. Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices, and systems through control of matter on the nanometer scale and the exploitation of novel phenomena and properties of matter (physical, chemical, biological, electrical, etc.) at that length scale. CNTs are supposed to be a key component of nanotechnology. Almost every week a new potential application of CNTs is identified, stimulating scientists to peep into this tiny tube with ever increasing curiosity.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00446-8