A review of shaped carbon nanomaterials

  • Neil J. Coville University of the Witwatersrand
  • Sabelo D. Mhlanga University of the Witwatersrand
  • Edward N. Nxumalo University of the Witwatersrand
  • Ahmed Shaikjee University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, carbon spheres, carbon helices, graphene, carbon fibres


Materials made of carbon that can be synthesised and characterised at the nano level have become a mainstay in the nanotechnology arena. These carbon materials can have a remarkable range of morphologies. They can have structures that are either hollow or filled and can take many shapes, as evidenced by the well-documented families of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes. However, these are but two of the shapes that carbon can form at the nano level. In this review we outline the types of shaped carbons that can be produced by simple synthetic procedures, focusing on spheres, tubes or fibres, and helices. Their mechanisms of formation and uses are also described.

Author Biographies

Neil J. Coville, University of the Witwatersrand
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, and Molecular Sciences Institute

School of Chemistry

Sabelo D. Mhlanga, University of the Witwatersrand
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, and Molecular Sciences Institute

School of Chemistry

Edward N. Nxumalo, University of the Witwatersrand
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, and Molecular Sciences Institute

School of Chemistry

Ahmed Shaikjee, University of the Witwatersrand
DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, and Molecular Sciences Institute

School of Chemistry


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