Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are high aspect ratio cylinders of carbon (∼1 nm in diameter) whose walls are one atomic layer thick and have an atomic arrangement analogous to graphite. The SWNT atomic structure is defined by a two-dimensional chiral vector whose components are specified by a pair of positive integers: (n,m). This chirality of the SWNT dictates its properties. Unfortunately, current methods for producing SWNTs lack control over chirality, leading to significant polydispersity in the properties of as-synthesized SWNTs. Consequently, the widespread use of SWNTs in electronics, photonics, and sensors has been limited by their inhomogeneity.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70309-7