Surface Energy-Controlled Self-Collapse of Carbon Nanotube Bundles With Large and Reversible Volumetric Deformation

Y Cheng and NM Pugno and XH Shi and B Chen and HJ Gao, JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, 80, 040902 (2013).

DOI: 10.1115/1.4024174

Molecular dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the effect of surface energy on equilibrium configurations and self-collapse of carbon nanotube bundles. It is shown that large and reversible volumetric deformation of such bundles can be achieved by tuning the surface energy of the system through an applied electric field. The dependence of the bundle volume on surface energy, bundle radius, and nanotube radius is discussed via a dimensional analysis and determined quantitatively using the simulation results. The study demonstrates potential of carbon nanotubes for applications in nanodevices where large, reversible, and controllable volumetric deformations are desired.

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