New insights into the properties and interactions of carbon chains as revealed by HRTEM and DFT analysis
Atomic carbon chains have raised interest for their possible applications as graphene interconnectors as the thinnest nanowires; however, they are hard to synthesize and subsequently to study. We present here a reproducible method to synthesize carbon chains in situ TEM. Moreover, we present a direct observation of the bond length alternation in a pure carbon chain by aberration corrected TEM. Also, cross bonding between two carbon chains, 5ﾠnm long, is observed experimentally and confirmed by DFT calculations. Finally, while free standing carbon chains were observed to be straight due to tensile loading, a carbon chain inside the walls of a carbon nanotube showed high flexibility.