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The term ‘nanotechnology’ is
derived from the Greek word
• Nano scale - at the 1-100 nm scale

• Nanostructure - an object that has nano scale features

• Nano science - the behavior and properties of


• Nanotechnology - the techniques for making and

characterizing nanostructures and putting them to Use

• Nano manufacturing - methods for producing

nanostructures in reliable and commercially viable
Nano Scale
• One nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a
meter ie 10 -9 m
1 nm = one billionth of a meter
1/50,000 thickness of a hair!
(ie human hair is 50,000 nm thick)
a string of 3 atoms
• To put that scale in another
context, the comparative size of a
meter to nano meter is same as
that of earth to a glass marble
Nano: “Billionth” on some unit scale.
Nanomaterials/Nanostructured: Materials which possess an average
size less than 100 nanometer at least in one coordinate
Nanochemistry: The study of the synthesis and analysis of materials
in the nanoscale range (1 - 10 nanometers), including large
organic molecules, inorganic cluster compounds, and metallic or
semiconductor particles.
Nanotechnology: It refers to the manipulation of self assembly of
individual atoms or molecules into structure to create materials and
devices with new and vast different properties.
Classification of nanomaterials :
Based on dimensions:
•3- Dimensions-Eg., Nanoparticles, Quantum dots.
•2- Dimensions-Eg., Nanomolecules, Nanowires
• 1-Dimensions-E.g., Thin films, coatings
Based on nanofabrication:
•Bottom-up nanofabrication: The building of
nanostructures starting with small components such
as atoms or molecules.Eg., Chemical vapour
•Top-down nanofabrication: The process of
making nanostructures starting with larger
structures and taking parts away.Eg., Ball milling
• Buckyballs (Buckminster Fullerenes)
– Molecules containing carbon atoms bound together in a hollow
A Spherical fullerene are also called BUCKMINSTER
FULLERENES.(bucky ball shape or football)
Fullerene is similar to graphite structure
The structure of C60 made of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons.
The vanderwaals diameter of a C60 is about 1.1 nm.
Nucleous to nucleous diameter is about 0.71nm

– Can enter cells as they pass easily through the blood stream
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs):
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are allotropes
of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure with
length-to- diameter ratio of up to 20:1. When
graphite sheets are folded into a cylinder or tube
form it is considered as carbon nanotube. The
cylinders are typically closed at their ends by semi-
fullerene-like structures.
It was first discovered by S. Iijima in 1991.
Types of carbon nanotubes:
• Single Walled Carbon Nanotube:
Single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) have a diameter close to
1 nm with a tube length that can be many millions of times
longer. The structure of a SWNT is like wrapping a one-atom-
thick layer of graphite called graphene into a seamless
Based on the orientation of the hexagon lattice of carbon,
nanotube has
Armchair structure: hexagons are parallel to the axis of
Zig-Zag structure: lines of carbon bonds are down the
Chiral nanotubes: twist or spiral around the nanotube.
• Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube:
Multi-walled nanotubes (MWNT) consist of
multiple rolled layers (concentric tubes) of graphene.
Synthesis of carbon nanotubes:
• Electric arc discharge method (or) Plasma arcing:
A potential of 20- 25V is applied across the pure carbon electrodes of 5-20mm
diameter and separated by 1mm at 500torr pressure and high temperature ~3000°C
of flowing helium gas.
Under these conditions carbon atoms are ejected as vapour from the positive
electrode and forms nanotubes on the negative electrode.
As the tube grows, the length of positive electrode decreases. But the growth of
CNT maintains a gap of 1mm between the two electrodes.
To produce SWCNT a small amount of Co, Ni, or Fe is incorporated
as catalyst in the central region of the positive electrode.
If no catalysts are used, the tubes formed are multi-walled types.
The arc discharge method can produce SWCNT of diameter 1-5nm with a length of
•Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method:
•It consists of a quartz tube enclosed in a furnace. The
substrate material may be silica, mica, quartz or alumina.
Thermal CVD can be used to grow SWCNT as well as
•Thermal CVD uses acetylene (C2H2), ethylene (C2H4) or
methane (CH4) gas as the carbon precursors (feed stock or raw
material) and Fe, Co, or Ni nanoparticles as the catalyst. The
growth temperature is in the range of 500- 900oC.
• Pyrolysis:
It is the heating of acetylene at about 700C
in the presence of Fe-Silica or Fe-graphite catalyst
under inert conditions.
• Laser evaporation:
The graphite material with Co and Ni (catalyst) is
Vapourized and exposed it to an intense pulsed laser
beam at high temperature (1200C) in a quartz tube
An inert gas such as argon is simultaneously passed
to sweep the evaporated carbon from the furnace to
the colder copper collector and condense as carbon
Properties of carbon nanotubes:
•Electrical properties :
Helicity refers to rolling of hexagonal chains with respect
to the tube axis. Helicity results in three different kinds of
CNTs. They are,
i) Armchair - Metallic
ii) Zigzag - Metallic or
iii) Chiral nanotubes - Metallic or
It is estimated that they can carry billion amperes of
current per square centimeter. The copper wire fails at
one million amperes of current per square centimeter because
resistive heating melts the wire.
Reason for high conductivity of CNTs is very few defects
to scatter electrons and structure.
Mechanical properties :
i) Tensile strength: It is a measure of the amount of stress
needed to pull a material. The tensile strength of CNT is ~100
times stronger.
Reason: a) Interlocking of carbon-to-carbon covalent bonds.
b) Each CNT is one molecule. i.e., Does not have any weak
ii) Young’s modulus: It is a measure of stiff or flexible.CNTs
have young’s modulus ranging from 1.28 to 1.80TPa.(Steel-
0.21TPa=107 atm pressure)
iii) Thermal conductivity: CNTs do not heat or cool due to high
thermal conductivity. In metals, thermal conductivity depends upon
the movement of electrons to conduct heat. In CNTs conduct heat by
vibration of covalent bonds holding the carbon atoms together.i.e.,
Wiggling around and transmitting the heat.
iv) Density: CNTs are light weight with a density.(steel-1/4,Al-
Vibrational properties:
The atoms in the CNTs are continuously vibrating back and
forth and have two normal modes of vibration.
• CNTs conductivity has been shown to be a
function of their conformation (degree of
twist), as well as their diameter
• Their conductivity is six times more and
current density is 1000times greater than
that of Cu
• Their conductance lies between metallic and
semi-conducting materials
• SWNTs are better conductors than MWNTs
i. As catalysts:
•CNTs can be used as catalyst supports because they can
provide advantages of large surface areas, high chemical
stability and controlled surface chemistry.
Eg: i. Hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde in the liquid phase.
ii. Reduction of AlCl3 and nickel oxide to their respective
ii. Storage devices/ fuel cells:
•If the fuel cells are to be effective in automobiles, hydrogen
storage systems should store 6 percentage by weight of
hydrogen compared to the weight of storage tank.
•In presence of certain materials, it can hold 8 percentage by
weight of hydrogen CNTs would absorb hydrogen the way a
sponge absorbs water and holds it.
Chemical sensors and Biosensors:
• CNTs can be used as chemical sensor for deducting the
various gases like NO2, SO2, etc.,
• It can also be used as biosensors for electrical,
electrochemical and electrophysiology measurements of
individual cells. ( DNA or proteins).
vi. Other applications:
Conductive plastics, Structural composite materials,
Antifouling paint, Micro- and nano-electronics, Radar-
absorbing coating, Technical textiles, Ultra-capacitors, Atomic
Force Microscope (AFM) tips, Extra strong fibers etc
CNT in sports and Space
• SWNTs have the highest Young’s modulus,
used for making low weight structural
• It is used to manufacture stronger and
lighter tennis rackets, bike parts, golf balls,
golf clubs, golf shaft and baseball bats
• It is used as space elevator
CNT in Electrical devices

• The high aspect ratio also makes CNTs ideal

field-emission material ( FE is the emission
of electrons from a solid under an intense
electric field)
• Si or W tips were initially used.
• CNTs have an advantage over Si or W tips in
that their strong, they are physically inert
to sputtering, chemically inert to poisoning,
and can carry a huge current density of 109
A/cm2 before electro migration
CNTs in Batteries and Storage
• CNTs are used as an alternative to tungsten
filaments in incandescent lamps
• The low resistance of CNT compared to
activated carbon, greatly increase its power
• Carbon nano fibers are presently being
to increase the conductivity of porous carbon
electrodes and thus improve their power
• Due to its high Conductivity it finds
application as “quantum wires” and as
electrode in fuel cell (instead of Pt
• The large surface area and tubular
structure of CNTs suggest that
capillarity effects are important.
Thus, CNTs is useful for the storage
of hydrogen, a key aspect of the clean
energy economy
CNT in Electronics
• Films of carbon nanotubes are used to
replace indium tin oxide (ITO) in LCDs,
touch screens, and photovoltaic devices
• Nanotube films are also used in
for computers, cell phones, PDAs, and
CNT in Smart Garments
• CNTs are used in the manufacture of Water
proof and Tear resistant clothes
• It also used to manufacture Combat Jackets,
worn by special patients for continuous
CNT as Structural Material
•It is mixed with concrete to increase the
tensile strength, and halt crack propagation in
huge structures
• Carbon nanotubes are used to replace steel
in suspension bridges
•CNTs are used in commercial electric motor
•It is used to fabricate nano gears and nano
bearings used in nano machines
CNTs in Medical Field
• CNTs are used as Biosensors and
Biomedical implants due to its
• Soluble nano tubes are used in drug delivery
• Functionalized carbon nanotubes have been
used to deliver proteins, nucleic acids, drugs,
antibodies and other therapeutics.