Towards nanodevice fabrication: Joining and connecting single-walled carbon nanotubes

Mauricio Terrones Maldonado, Jean Christophe Charlier, Florian Banhart, Nicole Grobert, Humberto Terrones, Pulickel M. Ajayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy, we demonstrate that high-energy electron radiation at elevated temperatures (700-800°C) results in the molecular merging of adjacent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) via a zipper-like mechanism. In order to elucidate this coalescence process, we perform tight-binding molecular dynamics (TBMD) calculations at 1000°C. These simulations indicate that only a few vacancies (generated experimentally by knock-on effects on the tube surfaces) between two adjacent tubes of the same chirality trigger tube coalescence via a zipper-like mechanism. We further demonstrate theoretically that two crossing tubes containing a limited number of vacancies (dangling bonds) connect molecularly at 1000°C, resulting in the creation of an "X" molecular nanotube junction. Along this line, we propose a method for creating novel nanotube "X" and "Y" junctions, which could be developed in the fabrication of nanotube heterojunctions, robust composites, contacts, nanocircuits and strong 3D composites using SWNTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalNew Diamond and Frontier Carbon Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 28 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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