Groups led by Donald S. Bethune at IBM and Sumio Iijima at NEC independently discover single-wall carbon nanotubes and methods to produce them using transition-metal catalysts.
Swiss resesearchers are the first to demonstrate the electron emission properties of carbon nanotubes. German inventors Till Keesmann and Hubert Grosse-Wilde predicted this property of carbon nanotubes earlier in the year in their patent application.
First carbon nanotube single-electron transistors (operating at low temperature) are demonstrated by groups at Delft University and UC Berkeley.
The first suggestion of using carbon nanotubes as optical antennas is made in the patent application of inventor Robert Crowley filed in January of 1997.
First carbon nanotube field-effect transistors are demonstrated by groups at Delft University and IBM.
First demonstration proving that bending changes resistance
April — IBM announces a technique for automatically developing pure semiconductor surfaces from nanotubes.
January — Multi-walled nanotubes demonstrated to be fastest known oscillators (> 50 GHz).
REBO method of quickly and accurately modeling classical nanotube behavior is described.
April — Demonstration proves that bending changes resistance.
June — High purity (20% impure) nanotubes with metallic properties were reported to be extracted with electrophoretic techniques.
September — NEC announced stable fabrication technology of carbon nanotube transistors
March — Nature published a photo of an individual 4 cm long single-wall nanotube (SWNT).
August — Varying the applied voltage emits light at different points along a tube.
May — A prototype high-definition 10-centimetre flat screen made using nanotubes was exhibited.
August — University of California finds Y-shaped nanotubes to be ready-made transistors.
August — General Electric announced the development of an ideal carbon nanotube diode that operates at the "theoretical limit" (the best possible performance). A photovoltaic effect was also observed in the nanotube diode device that could lead to breakthroughs in solar cells, making them more efficient and thus more economically viable.
August — Nanotube sheet synthesised with dimensions 5 × 100 cm.
September — Applied Nanotech (Texas), in conjunction with six Japanese electronics firms, have created a prototype of a 25-inch TV using carbon nanotubes. The prototype TV does not suffer from "ghosting," as some types of digital TVs do.