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Decoding structural complexity in conical carbon nanofibers

Abstract

Conical carbon nanofiber (CNF) exists primarily as graphitic ribbons that fold into a cylindrical structure with formation of a hollow core. Structural analysis aided by molecular modeling proves useful for achieving a full picture of how the size of the central channel varies from fiber to fiber. From a geometrical perspective, conical CNFs possibly have nearly closed cone tips. On the other hand, their fiber wall thickness can be reduced to a minimum possible value that is determined solely by the apex angle, regardless of the outer diameter. A formula has been developed to express the number of carbon atoms involved in conical CNFs in terms of measurable structural parameters. It turns out that the energetically preferred fiber wall thickness increases not only with the apex angle, but also with the number of atoms in the constituent graphitic cones. The origin of the empirical observation that conical CNFs with small apex angles tend to have a large hollow core lies in the fact that in more curved graphene sheets the curvature-induced strain energy rises more rapidly as the fiber wall thickens.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Mar 2017, accepted on 08 May 2017 and first published on 10 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01533J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Decoding structural complexity in conical carbon nanofibers

    Y. Zhu, Z. Wang, H. Cheng, Q. Yang, Z. Sui, X. Zhou and D. Chen, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01533J

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