According to the research, published in the German scientific journal Angewandte Chemie, the nanowires produced are much more stable with much less chemically reactive than nanowires produced using different methods.

This new method works best with metals that turn into gas at relatively low temperatures, such as europium, samarium, ytterbium, and strontium. In this way, the metal atoms almost completely fill the cavity inside the carbon nanotubes. The researchers found that with using europium metal and carbon nanotubes with an inner diameter of about 0.76 nm, it was possible to obtain wires made of a single chain of individual atoms. This first truly one-dimensional nanowires was still chemically stable after one month of exposure to air.