Nanostructures Fabrication from Carbon Nanocones

Benjamin L. Lawson, Olga A. Shenderova*, Donald W. Brenner

Materials Science and Engineering Department, North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
Eighth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


Various types of nonplanar graphitic structures, including nanocones, have been generated in a carbon arc and by other techniques [1]. Nanocones are carbon-based structures with five-fold symmetry that form due to disclination defects in two-dimensional graphene sheets. They have been observed as nanotube caps and as freestanding structures. Calculations using an analytic potential show that carbon nanocones can exhibit conventional cone shapes or can form concentric wave-like metastable structures, depending on the nanocone radius. Single nanocones can be assembled into extended two-dimensional structures arranged in a self-similar fashion as system size is increased. The stress distribution within nanostructures, their mechanical stability and electronic properties will be presented. We believe that this class of structure, if practically accessible, will find interesting applications such as data storage and nano-optical device components with controllable properties. It may be possible to fabricate these structures through manipulation with an atomic force microscope tip and to connect nanocones into more extended nanostructures using laser irradiation.

In addition, the design and functionality of a 'nanoplotter' will be presented. In this device, which is modeled using molecular dynamics simulations, nanotube arrays attached to two separated diamond surfaces are bent and released by changing the distance between diamond beams. During these manipulations, nanotube reactivity and therefore their ability to carry chemical species is changed in a controllable way [2,3].

  1. M.S. Dresselhaus, G. Dresselhaus, P.S. Eklund. Science of Fullerenes and Carbon Nanotubes. Academic Press Inc. New York 1996.
  2. Ausman KD, Rohrs HW, Yu MF, Ruoff RS, 'Nanostressing and mechanochemistry', Nanotechnology, 10, p.258-262 (1999).
  3. Srivastava D, Brenner DW, Schall JD, Ausman KD, Yu MF, Ruoff RS, 'Predictions of enhanced chemical reactivity at regions of local conformational strain on carbon nanotubes: Kinky chemistry', J.Phys.Chem.B, 103, p.4330 (1999).

*Corresponding Address:
Dr. Olga A. Shenderova
Materials Science and Engineering Department, North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7907, USA