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Boron Nitride Nanotubes


  • The authors are grateful to Dr. M. Mitome, Dr. Y. Uemura, Dr. Q. Huang, and K. Kurashima (NIMS), Prof. X. D. Bai (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Dr. O. Lourie (Nanofactory Instruments, AB) for experimental contribution, stimulating discussions, and technical support. The authors are indebted to T. Sato, T. Sasaki, L. Bourgeois, W. Han, M. Eremets, O. Stephan, M. Terrones, X. D. Bai, F. F. Xu, R. Z. Ma, J. Sloan, P. Dorozhkin, Z. C. Dong, A. Gloter, L. Chernozatonskii, T. Laude, T. Oku, Y. K. Yap, M. Terauchi, S. Saito, K. Suenaga, M. Endo, P. M. Ajayan, Z. L. Wang, Y. Chen, A. Zettl, S. G. Louie, D. Tomanek, B. Yakobson, and A. Loiseau for many fruitful and stimulating discussions over the years of the authors' explorations of BNNTs and preparation of this Review. The financial support of these studies within the “Nanoscale Materials” Project tenable at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba is particularly acknowledged.


The current status of research on boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs)—carbon nanotube structural analogues—is discussed. Latest achievements in BNNT synthesis, morphology, and atomic structure analysis as well as physical, chemical, and functional property evaluations are reviewed. Similarities and differences between structural parameters and properties of BNNTs in comparison with conventional carbon nanotubes are particularly highlighted. Recent breakthroughs in BNNT filling, doping and functionalization, morphology, and electronic structure engineering are examined. Finally, prospective BNNT applications for fabricating field-effect transistors, gas accumulators, and reinforcing polymer films are presented.

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