The present invention comprises a new nanoscale metal-semiconductor, semiconductor-semiconductor, or metal-metal junction, designed by introducing topological or chemical defects in the atomic structure of the nanotube. Nanotubes comprising adjacent sections having differing electrical properties are described. These nanotubes can be constructed from combinations of carbon, boron, nitrogen and other elements. The nanotube can be designed having different indices on either side of a junction point in a continuous tube so that the electrical properties on either side of the junction vary in a useful fashion. For example, the inventive nanotube may be electrically conducting on one side of a junction and semiconducting on the other side. An example of a semiconductor-metal junction is a Schottky barrier. Alternatively, the nanotube may exhibit different semiconductor properties on either side of the junction. Nanotubes containing heterojunctions, Schottky barriers, and metal-metal junctions are useful for microcircuitry.
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.