We report a high yield synthesis of single-wall boron nitride nanotubes (SWBNNTs) inside single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), a nano-templated reaction, using ammonia borane complexes (ABC) as a precursor. Transmission electron microscope (TEM), high angle annular dark field (HAADF)-scanning TEM (STEM), electron energy loss spectra (EELS) and high resolution EELS mapping using aberration-corrected TEM system clearly show the formation of thin SWBNNTs inside SWCNTs. We have found that the yield of the SWBNNT formation is high and that the most of ABC molecules decompose and fuse to form the thin BNNTs at a temperature of 1,673 K having a narrow diameter distribution of 0.7 ± 0.1 nm. Optical absorption measurements suggest that the band gap of the thin SWBNNTs is about 6.0 V, which provide the ideal insulator nanotubes with very small diameters.
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