First made in 1994, synthesis methods have included: arc-discharge, laser ablation, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), template route, and pyrolysis techniques. Single-walled B-C-N nanotubes have been made with a hot-filament method.
Vertically aligned arrays of ~BC2N nanotubes can be produced by solvothermal synthesis in a stainless steel autoclave from a mixture of sodium azide (NaN3), ammonium fluoroborate (NH4BF4) and methyl cyanide (CH3CN). The mixture, together with the solvent and other additives is heated to 400 °C for ~14 h. The final composition was approx B19C55N26.
The vertically-aligned BCN nanotubes (made as above) exhibit a high and stable specific capacitance (>500 F/g), which exceeds that of alternative carbon nanomaterials, and therefore have potential applications in supercapacitors.
Another method produced nanotubes of composition : B45%,C31%,N24% The method was grow them on stainless steel by reacting boron, zinc oxide (ZnO), and ethanol in nitrogen and hydrogen at 1150 °C. The resulting nanotubes had an average diameter of about 90 nm.