Exploring the Nanoworld > Online Resources > Activities and Programs > Balloon Models of Nanotubes

Balloon Models of Nanotubes Activity

Carbon is a key ingredient in the emerging field of nanotechnology. Aside from the naturally occurring forms of carbon - graphite and diamond - carbon is also found in the nanostructured forms of fullerenes (or buckyballs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The atomic structure of a carbon nanotube is like a sheet of graphite rolled up into a tube. Depending on the direction of hexagons, nanotubes can be classified as either zigzag, armchair or chiral; different types of nanotubes have different properties.

The diameter of a real carbon nanotube is just a few nanometers, but in this activity, a macro-scale model of a carbon nanotube is built out of balloons. The atomic structure of a carbon nanotube is discussed in relation to its properties, and members of the audience are invited to participate in building the model.


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Carbon nanotubes & buckyballs background


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