Carbon Nanotubes have for some time been the darling of the nanotechnology industry with extraordinary properties that promise amazing developments in electronics, materials, biomedicine and a range of other applied sciences. Another path to producing materials with exceptional properties lies with a material that is known to form similar structures to carbon nanotubes. This material is boron nitride and boron nitride nanotubes. They are also known as BNNTs.
Boron Nitride Nanotube Composition
With boron and nitrogen taking places either side of carbon on the periodic table it is a simple assumption that an alternating combination of boron and nitrogen atoms will form a similar structure to carbon. The actual composition of boron nitride nanotubes can vary from straight BN to BC2N or a BxCyNz type variation.
Advantages of Boron Nitride Nanotubes
Unlike carbon nanotubes, boron nitride tubes have semiconducting electrical properties independent of the tube diameter and the number of walls or layers. Boron nitride nanotubes would also be more resistant to oxidation than carbon nanotubes and therefore be suited to high temperature environments that would destroy carbon nanotubes.
Boron Nitride Nanotube Applications
It is envisaged that by doping boron nitride nanotubes they can incorporate electronic devices. These devices could have a unique structure in that they could be microns in length yet only nanometers in diameter.