Relation of Carbon Nanotubes to Other Carbon Materials

Mildred S. Dresselhaus1 and Morinobu Endo2

1 Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Department of Physics

MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA [email protected]

2 Faculty of Engineering

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Shinshu University, Nagano-shi, 380 Japan [email protected]

Abstract. A review of the close connection between the structure and properties of carbon nanotubes and those of graphite and its related materials is presented in order to gain new insights into the exceptional properties of carbon nanotubes. The two dominant types of bonding (sp2 and sp3) that occur in carbon materials and carbon nanotubes are reviewed, along with the structure and properties of carbon materials closely related to carbon nanotubes, such as graphite, graphite whiskers, and carbon fibers. The analogy is made between the control of the properties of graphite through the intercalation of donor and acceptor species with the corresponding doping of carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanotubes are strongly related to other forms of carbon, especially to crystalline 3D graphite, and to its constituent 2D layers (where an individual carbon layer in the honeycomb graphite lattice is called a graphene layer). In this chapter, several forms of carbon materials are reviewed, with particular reference to their relevance to carbon nanotubes. Their similarities and differences relative to carbon nanotubes with regard to structure and properties are emphasized.

The bonding between carbon atoms in the sp2 and sp3 configurations is discussed in Sect. 1. Connections are made between the nanotube curvature and the introduction of some sp3 bonding to the sp2 planar bonding of the graphene sheet. The unusual properties of carbon nanotubes are derived from the unusual properties of sp2 graphite by imposing additional quantum confinement and topological constraints in the circumferential direction of the nanotube. The structure and properties of graphite are discussed in Sect. 2, because of their close connection to the structure and properties of carbon nanotubes, which is followed by reviews of graphite whiskers and carbon fibers in Sect. 3 and Sect. 4, respectively. Particular emphasis is given to the vapor grown carbon fibers because of their especially close connection to carbon nanotubes. The chapter concludes with brief reviews of liquid carbon

M. S. Dresselhaus, G. Dresselhaus, Ph. Avouris (Eds.): Carbon Nanotubes, Topics Appl. Phys. 80, 11-28 (2001) © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

and graphite intercalation compounds in Sect. 5 and Sect. 6, respectively, relating donor and acceptor nanotubes to intercalated graphite.

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