science art | acrylic, oil pastel on paper, 50X70cm
In 1952 a paper describing hollow graphitic carbon fibers appeared in the Soviet Journal of Physical Chemistry. The authors were Radushkevich and Lukyanovich. Since then many scientists discusses similar growths of carbon fibers, but not until 1991 did it get into focus of thorough researches, when the Japanese Sumio Iijama “discovered” carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are fullerenes: such entirely carbon-consisted molecules, which are hollow and take the shape of a sphere, ellipsoid or tube. Nanotubes have a long, hollow structure with walls of only one-atom-thick sheets of carbon. How these sheets are rolled at specific angles decide the main properties of the nanotubes, like whether it will be a metal or semiconductor. They can be single-walled (consisting of only one graphene sheet) or multi-walled. Carbon nanotubes have some very interesting properties. As already said, depending on their structures they can be metallic or semiconducting. They are very strong, have a high tensile strength, keep stability on high temperatures, and have a low density (1.3-1.4 g/cm3). Because of these properties it has a great potential in applications. Bulk nanotubes (unorganized fragments of nanotubes) are already used in polymers to improve their thermal, electrical and mechanical properties. Hybtonite carbon nanoepoxy is used for sports gear, wind turbines, and marine paints.