Image Gallery - Nanotubes


A selection of nanotube images and movies from my research and that of Philipe Lambin, created using povray. If you are interested in using these images please contact me. Please don't use without permission. All images on this site are ©Chris Ewels. Click on an image to see a larger version, leave your mouse over an image for a description..

Note there are other fullerene and nanotube related images in the gallery fantastic. If you want to know what a carbon nanotube is there is information and pictures here.

nanotube from surface
Nanotube end-on
carbon nanotube view above
Double walled carbon nanotube along axis

  1. Gallery of nanotubes joined by pentagons and heptagons
  2. MPEG movie of rotating around a carbon nanotube (7.2MB)
  3. MPEG movie of rotating inside a carbon nanotube (5.3MB)
  4. Quicktime movie of view down the axis of a carbon nanotube(5.4MB)


carbon nanotube from above
carbon nanotube from above
Double walled carbon nanotube along axis
    Kinked nanotubes
carbon nanotube end on
Faded nanotube end on
    (13,7) chiral nanotube end on
Some posttreated nanotube
Partially fluorinated carbon nanotube
Double walled carbon nanotube along axis
Nanotube Bundles
Nanotubes are rarely on their own; instead they are attracted to each other and tend to form bundles.
Double walled carbon nanotube along axis
Inside the Test Chamber
One way of growing nanotubes is in a hot plasma gas which consists of a whirling mixture of Hydrogen, carbon and metal particles. As this hot soup of elements cools, carbon condenses around the particles of metal catalyst, forming carbon nanotubes.
Nanotube- space elevator?
Route to the Stars
Carbon nanotubes have strength many times that of steel yet have only one sixth the weight. Some scientists are now suggesting a “space elevator” could be built, a vast nanotube cable extending into space, along which spacecraft of the future could pull themselves into orbit.
There is more about the difference between graphite and nanotubes here.
Nanotube Nanotube imagining unrolling a nanotube to get graphene imagining unrolling a nanotube to get graphene

Boron Nitride
It's also possible to make nanotubes out of boron nitride instead of carbon. They have the same structure as carbon tubes with alternate carbon atoms replaced by either boron or nitrogen (they buckle a bit too). These tubes have interesting properties and behave differently to carbon tubes - for a start they are extremely insulating - if carbon nanotubes are molecular wires, boron nitride nanotubes are the molecular insulation.

BN nanotube boron nitride
8 0 BN nanotube
    8 6 BN nanotube
(20,0) BN nanotube side view
Images created by Chris Ewels

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Last modified November 22, 2006