Carbon Nanotube molecule, with a much smaller magcarbon nanotube alongside for comparison.
Elongated fullerene carbon molecule in a tubular configuration. Nanotubes are cylinders arranged from a single layer of carbon atoms. They are are 10 times stronger than steel and have a fraction of the weight of steel. The self-reparing variant Polyfullene is particularly useful.
As well as being strong they are also heat resistant, formed from the same pentagonal patterns as buckyballs. An essential part of of nanotech and nanofacturing, nanotubes can perform the same electronic functions of silicon-based components, but at a much finer scale. Nanotubes are standard in mesoscale molecular computer chips because their electrical conductivity can be controlled by the extent they are twisted. During the middle information period, nanotubes enabled the continued exponential growth of computing and integrated circuits that was referred to as Moore's Law, as well as allowing the creation of three-dimensional circuits.
Other uses for nanotubes include spacecraft construction, beanstalk cables and other forms of space tether, and as reinforcement in rotation space habitats such as Bishop Rings and McKendree Cylinders. Because of their many useful properties, and the relative ease of construction, nanotubes are still manufactured in bulk, even in relative primitive polities and societies.
Buckyball - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Short for buckminsterfullerene, and part of a larger class of molecules known as as fullerenes, the third form of carbon. Any of a number of roughly spherical molecule formed of a large number of carbon atoms. The smallest and most common form of buckminsterfullerene is C60; it has 60 carbon atoms in a soccer-ball shape, but there are many variants. The third form of carbon. After atomic age visionary thinker and inventer R. Buckminster Fuller's building designs.
Polyfullene - Text by Anders Sandberg Polybuckminsterfullerene; nanofactured fullerene composite produced originally for Beanstalks but which also found many uses elsewhere. Polyfullene has a tensile strength close to the theoretical limits of molecular matter; a single one millimeter strand can easily support many tons. The most impressive property is that it is self-healing: if the nanotubes inside a Polyful filament are broken, fullerene from the matrix heals them only causing a slight lengthening.