Thermal Vibration-Induced Rotation of Nano-Wheel: A Molecular Dynamics Study

HY Duan and J Shi and K Cai and QH Qin, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 19, 3513 (2018).

DOI: 10.3390/ijms19113513

By bending a straight carbon nanotube and bonding both ends of the nanotube, a nanoring (or nano-wheel) is produced. The nanoring system can be driven to rotate by fixed outer nanotubes at room temperature. When placing some atoms at the edge of each outer tube (the stator here) with inwardly radial deviation (IRD), the IRD atoms will repulse the nanoring in their thermally vibration-induced collision and drive the nanoring to rotate when the repulsion due to IRD and the friction with stators induce a non-zero moment about the axis of rotational symmetry of the ring. As such, the nanoring can act as a wheel in a nanovehicle. When the repulsion is balanced with the intertubular friction, a stable rotational frequency (SRF) of the rotor is achieved. The results from the molecular dynamics simulation demonstrate that the nanowheel can work at extremely low temperature and its rotational speed can be adjusted by tuning temperature.

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