Date: May 30,1994
T.W. Ebbesen, P.M. Ajayan, "Large-scale synthesis of carbon nanotubes," Nature, 358:220-2, 1992.
Thomas W. Ebbesen (Fundamental Research Laboratories, NEC Corp., Tsukuba, Japan): "Carbon nanotubes are very small, hollow graphitic tubes (nanometer in diameter, micrometer long) that generated a lot of excitement when they were first observed. They were seen both as elongated fullerenes and as the ultimate fiber, since the hexagonal network of carbon atoms was perfect. Exciting properties were predicted for the nanotubes, but there was no way to verify them because the nanotubes were available in only minute quantities in a mixture of soot. That is probably why our paper on the large-scale synthesis of nanotubes has had a large impact. It opened the possibility for everyone to do experiments on nanotubes and verify their properties.
"It was while we were trying to make fullerene derivatives that we found that we had made...