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Positive and negative bias-voltages are applied to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in magnetized alkali–metal and alkali–fullerene plasmas. When accelerated ions are irradiated to the SWNTs through plasma sheaths, drastic structural deformations such as deflection and tube cutting of the SWNTs are observed to take place. Furthermore, this phenomenon is found to be accompanied by the fullerene encapsulation inside the SWNTs in the case of the positive-bias application in the alkali–fullerene plasma, giving the possibility that various kinds of atoms and molecules can effectively be intercalated by our plasma method. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.