This communication describes scanning tunnelling microscopy investigations of the electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). First, the unique relationship between the atomic structure and electronic properties of SWNTs is presented. Second, structural defects in nanotubes are addressed, and quantum size effects in SWNTs are discussed. Lastly, the effects of magnetic impurities on the low-energy properties of metallic SWNTs are discussed. Applications and prospects for future research directions are considered.
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