The synthesis of WS inorganic nanotubes (INT) and inorganic fullerene-like (IF) structures in 1992 signified the opening of a fertile and challenging field of scientific endeavor. These structures were the first of a long and ever-expanding series of INT and IF structures. Although initially much of the effort concentrated on the synthesis of INT and IF from compounds with layered structures, recently there has been a surge of efforts to synthesize crystalline and polycrystalline nanotubular structures from compounds with quasi-isotropic structures, like spinels, BaTiO, SiO, TiO, and many others. The present review summarizes some of the progress in this field in recent years. Much of the progress in this field was achieved through strong interaction between theoretical and experimental work. This article has four themes: () new synthetic approaches leading to new kinds of IF and INT; () study of the molecular structure of such nanoparticles with new tools, such as aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high-angle annular dark field (HAADF); () recent progress in the investigation of the properties of such nanostructures; and () examples of applications for which clear progress has been accomplished, in particular in solid lubrication and high-strength nanocomposites.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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