The spontaneous collapse of large-diameter single carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)
generates a new class of low dimensional structures, known as collapsed
‘dogbone’ nanotubes. Several experimental works showed that the final
configuration of collapsed tubes is composed by two flat nanoribbons, whose
edges are closed forming chemical bonds like the standard carbon nanotubes.
Our first-principle investigation based on the Density Functional Theory
(DFT) revealed how these flattened tubes become more stable than its own
cylindrical counterpart when a given diameter threshold is exceeded. A
peculiarity of these hybrid systems between bilayer graphene and SWNTs due to
their unique architecture is the possibility to fill the edge cavities with
different molecules. The radial deformation of filled nanotubes is driven by
changes in the charge transfer process between molecular species and
surrounding carbon edge channels. The edge filling implies Coulomb
interactions between molecules and molecules and CNT-like zone at the edges.
The filled cavities induce doping effect on the collapsed nanotubes without
the introduction of defects and/or scattering centres with really significant
improvement of the electrical conductivity. Such innovative systems represent
a rising star on the horizon of nanomaterials science, because of peculiar
mechanical and electronic properties, opening the path to promising deformed
graphene based on high-performance nanoscale devices.
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