Molecular “Glass” Blowing: From Carbon Nanotubes to Carbon Nanobulbs


  • We thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China for partial financial support (No. 59872047). This work is performed in the framework of ELCASS and SFB 546 of the Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft (DFG). Z. P. Zhu thanks the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a fellowship.


Molecular-scale “glass” blowing of multi-wall carbon nanotubes into nanobulbs (see Figure) is achieved in a unique tube growth environment generated by the explosive decomposition of picric acid. Results indicate that carbon nanotubes have remarkable thermoplasticity and structural fluidity during their generation, and can be engineered into various shaped micro-vessels or devices.