Dynamical behavior of the kink motion in carbon nanotubes

XY Li and KW Zhang and XY Peng and SM Li and XJ Tan and JX Zhong, EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL B, 85, 64 (2012).

DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2012-20769-y

By performing molecular dynamics calculations, we studied the motion of the kink between two carbon nanotubes. Based on the sequential evaporation of the most energetic carbon atom, our calculations show that the kink has complex longitudinal and spiral motions, in good agreement with the experiments. The kink moves towards the nanotube of larger diameter, resulting in an overall diameter shrinking of the nanotubes without inducing any disorder or damage. The kink motions are found to be dependent on the chirality of the nanotubes. The kink connecting two zigzag nanotubes can have either a pseudoclimb or a spiral motion, while the kink between the armchair nanotubes has an interesting spiral motion with periodic split and recombination of the topological defects.

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