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Boron-Carbon-Nitrogen Nanoparticles and Nanotubes

IB-1079

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Reinforcements in composite materials (conductors or insulators)
  • Electron field-emission sources
  • Electronic devices
  • Lubricants
  • High-strength fibers
  • Micromachines
  • Catalysts

ADVANTAGES:

  • BN nanotubes are all uniformly semiconducting, independent of radius and chirality
  • BC2N nanotubes constitute a nanocoil
  • BC3 nanotubes have a conductance that is sensitively dependent on interactions with neighboring tubes
  • BN nanotubes have been measured to have the world's highest Young's modulus for an insulating fiber
  • BxCyNz nanotubes can be tipped with metal particles
  • BxCyNz nanoparticles have a smooth surfaces and are predicted to be mechanically hard
  • High decomposition temperature; very resistant to oxidation
  • Electrical properties more easily controlled than pure carbon tubes

ABSTRACT: Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have devised a modified plasma arc technique to synthesize nanoscale particles and tubes with stoichiometries BxCyNz. The new materials are predicted to have unique mechanical and electronic properties, often superior to those expected for pure carbon or other nanotubes and nanoparticles. Potential applications include ultra-small electronic devices (pn junctions, Schottky barriers, transitors, etc,) catalytic particles, abrasive/protective coatings, high-strength fibers, and structural reinforcements to electrical and thermal conductivity enrichers in composite materials. This synthetic technique is expected also to be suited to nanoparticle and nanotube growth with a host of other compounds as well.

STATUS: U.S. Patents #6,231,980 and #6,063,243. Available for licensing and collaboration.

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REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-1079

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