Lanka Software Foundation, a non-profit and research oriented organization in Sri Lanka initiated a project in 2009 to develop opensource software to be used in nanotechnology research work. The idea was welcome by Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and agreed to assist in the progress.
The plan was to release a tool in 2010 and continue the progress in to a bigger project after the release. The inceptive project known as 'Ninithi' , was released on April,2010. It can be used to visualize and analyse widely used carbon allotropes in nanotechnology, Graphene, Carbon nanoribbons, Carbon nanotubes and Fullerenes.
The software also provides 3-D views of the molecular structures of those molecules and graphs illustrating electrical properties of them.
Carbon nanotube, an allotrope of carbon is one of the breakthroughs of nanotechnology. It is a nano-scale tube formed of carbon atoms.
There exist a large number of carbon nanotubes with different geometries depend on a parameter known as 'Chirality', is a vector represented by a pair of integers (n,m).
Ninithi is capable of generating the 3D visualization when the n,m and preferred length of the nanotube is provided.
In the left you can see the screenshots of different nanotubes
with different Chiralities. User is also capable of changing the sizes and colors of atoms and bonds to customize the visualization.
3D molecular structures can be rotated and moved using the mouse dragging functions.
In addition to 3D visualization, ninithi provides the graphs illustrating the electrical properties of the nanotube. User can see the energy band-structure of each nanotube and determine whether it is conducting or semiconducting and estimate the bandgap.
Graphene and Carbon nanoribbons
Graphene, simply a layer of graphite is one of the important and widely used in nanotechnology research. Structure of the planer layer is a honeycomb lattice and each carbon atom is bonded to three other carbon atoms in the plane . Nanoribbon is a cut along the Graphene layer according to given parameters, m,n integer pair and the length. Graphene/Carbon nanoribbons are widely used in many researches due to its remarkable electrical properties, specially in nanoelectronics.Ninithi can be used to visualize Graphene/Nanoribbons and their electrical properties.
Fullerene is also a carbon allotrope which is a cage carbon atoms. Number of carbon atoms is different for different geometries and they can be visualized using ninithi.
ninithi 1.0 released