Gear junctions between chiral boron nitride nanotubes

Z Wang, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 100, 035430 (2019).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.035430

A gear effect is demonstrated at parallel and cross junctions between boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) via atomistic simulations. The atoms of neighboring BNNTs are meshed together at the junctions like gear teeth through long-range noncovalent interactions, which are shown to be able to transmit motion and power. The sliding motion of a BNNT can be spontaneously translated to rotating motion of an adjoining one or viceversa at a well-defined speed ratio. The transmittable motion and force strongly depend on the helical lattice structure of BNNTs represented by a chiral angle. The motion transmission efficiency of the parallel junctions increases up to a maximum for certain BNNTs depending on the displacement rate. It then decreases with increasing chiral angles. For cross junctions, the angular motion transmission ratio increases with decreasing chiral angles of the driven BNNTs, while the translational one exhibits the opposite trend.

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