Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are now well into their teenage years. Early on, theoretical predictions and experimental data showed that CNTs possess chemical and mechanical properties that exceed those of many other materials. This has triggered intense research into CNTs. A variety of production methods for CNTs have been developed; chemical modification, functionalization, filling, and doping have been achieved; and manipulation, separation, and characterization of individual CNTs is now possible. Today, products containing CNTs range from tennis rackets and golf clubs to vehicle fenders, X-ray tubes, and Li ion batteries. Breakthroughs for CNT-based technologies are anticipated in the areas of nanoelectronics, biotechnology, and materials science. In this article, I review the current situation in CNT production and highlight the importance of clean CNT material for the success of future applications.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(06)71789-8