A plasma treatment has been used to modify the surface of BNNTs. In one example, the surface of the BNNT has been modified using ammonia plasma to include amine functional groups. Amine functionalization allows BNNTs to be soluble in chloroform, which had not been possible previously. Further functionalization of amine-functionalized BNNTs with thiol-terminated organic molecules has also been demonstrated. Gold nanoparticles have been self-assembled at the surface of both amine- and thiol-functionalized boron nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) in solution. This approach constitutes a basis for the preparation of highly functionalized BNNTs and for their utilization as nanoscale templates for assembly and integration with other nanoscale materials.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
 The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.