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Boron Nitride Nanotubes

Boron Nitride Nanotube

Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) can be thought of as a tube rolled from a hexagonal sheet of boron nitride. Electronic properties can be either metallic or semiconducting depending on their chemical structure, BNNTs are expected to have over 4 eV band gaps for observed diameter ranges of over 1 nm. Chemical resistance is better for BNNTs, which are able to survive in air up to much higher temperature15.

Boron Nitride Nanotubes
Boron Nitride Nanotubes


  1. Excellent mechanical and thermal properties
  2. Efficient electrical insulators
  3. Structurally stables and inert to most chemical
  4. High resistance to oxidation


  1. Electrically insulating
  2. Polymer composites
  3. Piezoelectric
  4. Sensors
  5. Biomaterial
  6. Neutron Capture Therapy
  7. Radiation Shielding
  8. Ceramic Composites

Electrically insulating

Electrically insulating polymer/Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BN) nanocomposites are highly attractive for various applications in many thermal management fields. Thermally conductive and electrically insulating components will be possible with new BNNT ultra strong composites.  Anticipated applications range from lightweight wiring for aerospace systems, to enhanced cooling of electronic components, to high performance batteries. BNNTs are very promising nanofillers for polymeric composites, allowing the simultaneous achievement of high thermal conductivity, low CTE, and high electrical resistance, as required for novel and efficient heat-releasing materials.

Polymer composites

Boron Nitride Nanotubes (h-BN) is a layered material with planar networks of BN hexagons, which is flexible to form various nanostructures. This feature article begins with an overall introduction of BN nanostructures and their novel properties, such as electrical insulating properties, high thermal conductivity, great mechanical strength, optical properties, and so on. Then a comprehensive review of polymer composites of BN nanostructures with distinguished properties for different applications. BNNTs composites very well with wide ranges of polymers. The scope of possibilities has only begun to be explored, this arena of BNNTs enhanced composites is anticipated to have exceptional strength and thermal conductivity far beyond what currently exists in the market place. Potential applications are present  in areas such as armor including transparent armor, thin coatings, batteries and aerospace components.


Boron Nitride Nanotubes (h-BN) monolayer is piezoelectric because it is non-centrosymmetric. Piezoelectric two-dimensional boron nitride monolayer can be a candidate material for various nano-electromechanical applications. Outstanding piezoelectric and electrostrictive properties are observed for BNNTs. This combined with their exceptional strength will allow creation of nontoxic lightweight piezoelectric systems with better response and mechanical properties than current piezoelectric polymers. BNNTs will be key to enhanced sensors and robotics including applications in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, harvesting energy and satellite.

Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) have been increasingly investigated for use in a wide range of applications due to their unique physicochemical properties including high hydrophobicity, heat and electrical insulation, resistance to oxidation, and hydrogen storage capacity. They are also valued for their possible medical and biomedical applications including drug delivery, use in biomaterials, and neutron capture therapy. In this review, BNNTs synthesis methods and the surface modification strategies are first discussed, and then their toxicity and application studies are summarized.


Boron Nitride Nanotubes have been used for in wide range of applications due to their unique physicochemical properties,high hydrophobicity, biomedical, medical, neutron capture therapy and drug delivery. BNNTs increase the physical strength, durability and degradation rate. BNNTs used is polyactide-polycaprolac copolymer as additives to improve the properties of the polymers as an orthopedic implant. BNNTs play an important role to improve mechanical properties regulated the gene expression for increased cell viability for orthopedic applications.


The unique properties of the Boron Nitride Nanotubes can be combined with properties of other nanomaterials to construct sensors devices for humidity clinical diagnostics and carbon dioxide detections. A highly sensitive humidity sensors using BNNTs and silver nanoparticles for the rapid detection of humidity sensors.

Neutron Capture Therapy

The neutron absorption capacity of Boron Nitride Nanotubes the use of Boron Nitride Nanotubes as contrast agents for neutron capture therapy, which could be an innovative approach for treatment of several aggressive cancers such as cerebral glioblastoma multiform. The main purpose of the therapy was to target the tumor cells by 10B atoms. BNNTs were used as carriers of boron atoms. Boron Nitride Nanotubes to induce a hydrophilic property. The BNNTs were coated with folic acids for selective interaction with the tumor cells. The malignant glioblastoma cells were exposed to functionalized Boron Nitride Nanotubes under in vitro conditions. The use of BNNTs should be further investigated for neutron capture therapy.


High stiffness and excellent chemical stability makes Boron Nitride Nanotubes ideal material for reinforcement in polymers, ceramics and metals. BNNTs also exhibit good thermal conductivity. Boron Nitride Nanotubes multifunctional as it not only improve the stiffness of composites but also yield high thermal conductivity along with high transparency. The combination of high stiffness and high transparency is already exploited in the development of BNNTs-reinforced glass composites.18 Other intrinsic properties of BNNTs such as good radiation shielding ability, high electrical resistance and excellent piezoelectric properties are likely to promote interest for integrating them in new applications.

 Radiation Shielding

Boron Nitride Nanotubes also offer better thermal conductivity and chemical stability, which are beneficial in the fabrication of radiation shielded suits and composites. These properties have made BNNT’s a good choice for applications in radiation shielding material in the structure of space craft and organic photovoltaic packaging Material.

Boron Nitride Nanotubes can be the basis for neutron shielding composites for use in radiation shielding applications due to the presence of boron with its unique high efficiency for absorbing thermal neutrons. BNNTs can also be used for ultra violet (UV) shielding applications.Effective radiation shielding is required to protect crew and equipment in various fields including aerospace, defense, medicine and power generation. Light elements and in particular hydrogen are most effective at shielding against high-energy particles including galactic cosmic rays, solar energetic particles and fast neutrons.

Boron nitride nanotube biomedical

Boron Nitride Nanotubes may be useful in nano-textured cellular scaffolding for nerve and bone tissue regeneration, nanoscale drug vectors and delivery structures, and electroporation-based oncology (cancer) therapies. BNNTs due to there unque properties used for biomedical, is not cytotoxic. They are also valued for their possible medical and biomedical applications including drug delivery use for biomaterials and neutron capture therapy.

Ceramic Composites

Boron Nitride Nanotubes is a technical ceramic material that offers an unusual combination of high thermal conductivity, high temperature capability, and high electrical resistance. BNNTs is projected to be the basis for a new generation of lightweight ceramic composites that should have a wide range of high temperature applications in systems such as jet engines. Low temperature applications could include dentistry. It also can offer excellent thermal conductivity and outstanding dielectric strength.



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