BOOK_CONTENT
From Processing and Properties of Nanocomposites

2 Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibres

Carbon nanotubes are often seen as the intersection of traditional carbon fibres with the fullerene family [6]. It was only realised relatively recently that solids of pure elemental carbon with sp 2-hybridisation can form a wide variety of well-defined crystalline structures. The first recognition of the fullerenes as closed structures [7] in 1985, and their subsequent synthesis in a carbon arc [8], stimulated enormous new interest in carbon materials. In 1991, Iijima observed a graphitic tubular structure in an arc discharge apparatus that was used to produce C60 and other fullerenes. His realisation [9] of the structural richness of these particles, which came to be known as nanotubes, generated enormous interest; indeed, there are now in excess of 10,000 papers discussing the science of CNTs, including a large fraction on polymer composites. Although Iijima is often credited with the discovery of CNTs, there are earlier reports in the literature, notably by Endo in 1976, of the synthesis of tubular carbon structures using hydrocarbon decomposition [10]. There are even reports in the catalysis literature of the 1950s of attempts to remove troublesome fibrous carbon deposits. The electric arc method was actually used as early as 1960 by Roger Bacon [11] to produce graphite whiskers, and one can also speculate that nanotubes were likely present in his experiments as a by-product, although unobserved. The explosion of interest in 1991 was driven by the renewed interest in carbon following the discovery of fullerenes, and the structural perfection...

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Electrodes and Electrode Materials
Electrodes and electrode materials are metals and other substances used as the makeup of electrical components. They are used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit, and are the materials in a system through which an electrical current is transferred.
EDM Electrode Materials
EDM electrodes consist of highly conductive and/or arc erosion-resistant materials such as graphite or copper. EDM is an acronym for electric discharge machining, a process that uses a controlled electrical spark to erode metal.
Carbides and Carbide Materials (hardmetals)
Carbides and carbide materials (hardmetals) have excellent wear resistance and high hot hardness. They are binary compounds of carbon and an element of lower or comparable electronegativity.
Superconductors and Superconducting Materials
Superconductors and superconducting materials conduct electricity without resistance.

Topics of Interest

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Attempts to introduce foreign materials into the empty central cavities of carbon nanotubes began soon after the appearance of Iijima s paper in 1991. This work was driven partly by curiosity the...

As we saw in the last chapter, the excitement surrounding carbon nanotubes was originally sparked by Iijima s production of highly perfect multiwalled tubes using arc-evaporation in 1991. Although the...