In situ TEM monitoring of thermal decomposition in individual boron nitride nanotubes

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Department of Physics


The future of microelectronic and nanoelectronics devices could lie in one-dimensional nanomaterials including boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). In such applications, however, the flow of electrical current may induce structural failure resulting in reduction of component Service life. Here, we utilized scanning tunneling microscopy inside a transmission electron microscope to study the thermal failure of individual multi-walled BNNTs via Joule heating. At elevated temperatures, the nanotube failed by the formation of amorphous nanoclusters and progression of structural defects. These Clusters have various sizes and initially form on the outermost shell layers of BNNTs.

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© TMS 2010. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-010-0063-1

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Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society