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Flattened nanotubes are full of potential: Researchers reveal details of ‘closed-edge graphene nanoribbons’

The results gathered over six months confirmed the probability that at growth temperature – 750 degrees Celsius – flexible nanotubes fluttering in the gas breeze inside a furnace could indeed be induced to collapse. If two atoms on either side of the inner wall get close enough to each other, they can start a van der Walls cascade that flattens the nanotube, Bets said.

“At first, it takes energy to press the nanotube, but you reach a point where the two sides begin to feel each other, and they begin to gain the energy of attraction,” Hauge said. “The van der Waals force takes over, and the tubes then prefer to be collapsed.”