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Novel, Heteroatomic Boron, Nitrogen and Carbon Nanotubes (BNC Tubes)

Final Report Summary - BNC TUBES (Novel, heteroatomic boron, nitrogen and carbon nanotubes)

The BNC TUBES project aimed to develop novel, continuous, chemical vapour deposition based synthesis for three-dimensional regular nanostructures in the form of heteroatomic Nanotubes (NTs) which consist of boron, nitrogen and carbon such as Boron nitride (BN), nitrogen (N)-doped carbon, boron (B)-doped carbon as well as mixed BNC nanotubes. In doped nanotubes either boron or nitrogen or both replace carbon atoms and are covalently bonded.

The project specifically targeted at developing novel synthesis methods for heteroatomic (N- and B-doped carbon and BN) nanotubes based on the floating catalyst and aerosol CVD technique, the laser evaporation method as well as the thermochemistry of substitution reactions. It aimed, also, to characterise the heteroatomic nanotubes by advanced techniques such as High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), Optical absorption (OA), Photoluminescence (PL) and Filed emission (FE), in order to determine their structure and properties. The development of atomic and reactor level descriptions regarding nanotube formation mechanisms as well as the investigation of heteroatomic nanotube properties by means of atomistic modelling simulations such as ab initio, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo packages constituted another objective. Finally, the project aimed to develop and characterise highly transparent, conductive and flexible thin nanotube mats.

The project achieved in producing and characterising all B-, N- and BN- doped, single- and multi-walled nanotube carbons with well-defined properties as well as demonstrating control over the latter, namely the dopant concentration, structure, diameter, chirality, length, defect concentration, oxidation resistance as well as optical absorption and electric conductivity by dint of state-of-the-art methods. Finally, the results highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of various synthesis methods as well as the potential and limitations of doping.

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