Carbon Solutions is the company that put the "C" in carbon nanotubes – where "C" stands for chemistry.
Just as in the case of the fullerenes, the scientific investigation of carbon nanotubes was initially carried forward by physicists. As the fullerene field matured, chemistry came to the forefront and this transition is currently underway in the area of carbon nanotubes.
Our vision for the field has been in place for some time: "…if the [single-walled carbon nanotubes] SWNTs are to achieve their full potential, it will be necessary to bring about chemical modification of the basic structure. The ability to disperse and perhaps dissolve the SWNTs would greatly improve the prospects for processable materials that can be aligned and formed into useful structures. Chemical functionalization would be an important step in this direction as well as opening up interesting opportunities in its own right. If it were possible to chemically modify the surface of the nanotubes in a controlled manner, this would afford a number of opportunities for tailoring the structural and electronic properties."
At full size, we view carbon nanotubes as macromolecules that should be ideal constituents of polymers, copolymers, polymer composites, and biological structures where their outstanding physical properties, such as high strength, exceptional thermal conductivity, and singular electronic properties distinguish them from all other nanomaterials. The carbon nanotube is the ultimate molecular carbon fiber – if it can be processed into useful structures. At the other end of the size scale, where the nanotubes are shortened to the molecular size regime, interest will focus on their unique cylindrical physical shape together with their conjugated electronic structure.