Project Details Nomenclature of carbon nanotubes and related substances

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 July 2014
End Date:


To analyze existing nomenclature principles for carbon nanotubes (CNT) and related substances and to create a technical report on nomenclature conventions to be used by scientists and regulatory bodies.


Nanomaterials already became a very important area of chemistry having a quickly growing range of industrial applications. IUPAC nomenclature conventions in this area are needed both for scientists and regulatory agencies.

The current IUPAC recommendations in the area of nanomaterials are limited to fullerenes only. Practically all other classes of nanomaterials are as yet out of scope of IUPAC attention. The project is aimed at the analysis of currently scattered nomenclature conventions for CNT and preparation of technical report on nomenclature conventions for classification and naming of CNT and related substances.

Because of the special nature of CNT the project team is composed of CNT experts and experts in nomenclature of discrete and macromolecular structures. The involved CNT experts took part in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Nomenclature Model for Nanomaterials task group of the Terminology and Nomenclature Working Group of ISO/TC229 Nanotechnologies.


Jan 2015 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. Jan-Feb 2015, p. 24; DOI: 10.1515/ci-2015-0117

June 2019 update – The basic mechanism of carbon nanotube nomenclature are complete. In an effort to better identify locations of functionalization and better define the chirality of the nanotube, a more extensive numbering scheme is now started. It is anticipated that there will also be brief commentary on end-cap functionalization as adapted from the fullerene-type nomenclature already developed in IUPAC.

October 2020 update – draft document available, under review in Div VIII

Page last updated 15 Oct 2020