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In this letter, we report an electron diffraction determination of chiral vectors (n,m) of individual single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Electron diffraction patterns from individual SWNTs were recorded on imaging plates using a parallel electron beam over a section of tube of ∼50 nm long. Using two tubes of 1.39 and 3.77 nm in diameter, we show that the details of electron diffuse scattering can be detected for both the small and large tubes. The quality of diffraction patterns allows the accurate measurement of both the diameters and chiral angles of SWNTs for a direct determination of chiral vectors. The electron diffraction technique is general and applicable to other forms of individual nanostructures. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.