Zipper Mechanism of Nanotube Fusion: Theory and Experiment

Mina Yoon, Seungwu Han, Gunn Kim, Sang Bong Lee, Savas Berber, Eiji Osawa, Jisoon Ihm, Mauricio Terrones, Florian Banhart, Jean Christophe Charlier, Nicole Grobert, Humberto Terrones, Pulickel M. Ajayan, David Tománek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We propose a new microscopic mechanism to explain the unusually fast fusion process of carbon nanotubes. We identify the detailed pathway for two adjacent (5,5) nanotubes to gradually merge into a (10,10) tube, and characterize the transition states. The propagation of the fused region is energetically favorable and proceeds in a morphology reminiscent of a Y junction via a zipper mechanism, involving only Stone-Wales bond rearrangements with low activation barriers. The zipper mechanism of fusion is supported by a time series of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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