Conducting linear chains of sulphur inside carbon nanotubes
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Despite extensive research for more than 200 years, the experimental isolation of monatomic sulphur chains, which are believed to exhibit a conducting character, has eluded scientists. Here we report the synthesis of a previously unobserved composite material of elemental sulphur, consisting of monatomic chains stabilized in the constraining volume of a carbon nanotube. This one-dimensional phase is confirmed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Interestingly, these one-dimensional sulphur chains exhibit long domain sizes of up to 160 nm and high thermal stability (similar to 800 K). Synchrotron X-ray diffraction shows a sharp structural transition of the one-dimensional sulphur occurring at similar to 450-650 K. Our observations, and corresponding electronic structure and quantum transport calculations, indicate the conducting character of the one-dimensional sulphur chains under ambient pressure. This is in stark contrast to bulk sulphur that needs ultrahigh pressures exceeding similar to 90 GPa to become metallic.
- NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (4), 2162, 2013-07
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP