University of Nottingham researchers have demonstrated that chemical reactions at the nanoscale which can change the structure of carbon nanotubes can be sparked from within.
The discovery challenges previous scientific thinking that the internal surface of CNTs are unreactive. The team successfully used internal surfaces of CNTs as nano-reactors, discovering in the presence of catalytically active transition metals inside the nanotube cavity, the nanotube itself can be involved in unexpected chemical reactions. The team also found that nanotubes can be used as a catalyst for the production of nanoribbon.
Their research appears in the journal Nature Chemistry.