Boron Nitride Nanotubes vs. Carbon Nanotubes

  Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT) Carbon nanotubes (CNT)
Electrical Insulating
(~5.7 eV wide-bandgap semiconductor)
Metallic or semiconducting
Optical Strong UV absorbers and transparent in the visible; visible emitters Ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared absorbers; semiconductors are near-infrared emitters
Radio Frequency transparency Yes (e.g. for 5G or radar) No
Thermal stability Stable to at least 800°C in air Up to 480°C
Thermal neutron capture cross section Boron isotope enrichment dependent (10B ~3825 barns vs. 11B ~0.0055 barns; N = 1.9 barns) C = 0.0035 barn
Bond polarity Polar (B-N) Nonpolar (C-C)
Piezoelectric behavior Yes (0.25 – 0.4 C/m2) Yes
Surface morphology Corrugated Smooth
Color White or translucent Black
Toxicity Very low, possibly no cytotoxicity Yes
Theoretical thermal conductivity
(vs. copper ~400 W/m∙K)
~3,500 W/m∙K (axial)
Mechanical strength
(Young's modulus)
~1.2 TPa
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) -1 x 10-6

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