This project will deal with a new nanostructured material - hexagonal BN in form of single-wall nanotubes(SWNT). SWNTs look like seamless mono-layer cylinders with diameter 0.5-3.0 nm and length up to tens of microns. Up to now the reliable synthesis of SWNT has been realized only for 2 materials: C and BN. Carbon SWNT have been investigated in detail, while a very little is known about BN SWNT. A leading group in this field is the ONERA team, headed by Dr. Annick Loiseau - Coordinator of this project. The team has performed the first BN SWNT synthesis and the investigations of their microscopic structural and optical properties. In this project 6 research teams, having modern equipment and an experience of nanotube investigations will join the ONERA team to extend the research potential and to make a breakthrough in solving three main problems: - optimization of a large-scale synthesis BN SWNT, - investigation of physical and chemical properties of BN SWNT, - analysis of possible technological applications of BN SWNT. The teams represent the leading physical and chemical institutes of i) Russian Academy of Sciences: - A.M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute (Moscow), - Boreskov Institute of Catalysis and Nikolaev Inorganic Chemistry Institute(Novosibirsk), - Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics (Chernogolovka), ii) France: - ONERA-CNRS (Chatillon, Palaiseau), - Institut des materiaux Jean Rouxel (Nantes) iii) Germany: - Leibnitz Institute for Solid State and Material Research (Dresden). These teams (in different combinations) had an informal collaboration and participated in different national and European projects: INTAS 97-1700, 00-237, FULPROP, SATURN, COMELCAN. The following methods of BN and C-BN SWNT synthesis will be used: CO2-laser ablation, arc discharge and substitutional CVD. Different approaches will be tried for BN SWNT purification and functionalization. Various techniques will be used for characterization of BN SWNT: - HRTEM, - AFM/ STM, - EELS, - photoemission spectroscopy, - X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence (PL), - Raman scattering (including surface-enhanced (SERS) and tip-enhanced (TERS) Raman), - optical absorption and PL, - laser-induced PL and incandescence, Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS), two-photon PL. Many original approaches will be developed: - design of new catalytic systems for BN SWNT synthesis, - in-situ Raman monitoring of the growth process of BN SWNT, - observation of atomically resolved STM-images of BN SWNT on gold substrates, - registration of enhanced Raman spectra of BN SWNT, - functionalization of BN SWNT (with water and halogens), - synthesis of BN-? peapods by filling of BN SWNT with C60 , C70 molecules, - field emission measurements for SWNT cathodes, - non-linear optical characterization of BNSWNT suspensions and films. A possibility of application of BN SWNT in vacuum electronics, optoelectronics, laser physics, non-linear optics and medicine will be analyzed.
Chernogolovka, Moscow Region