Controllable nanoscale rotating actuator system based on carbon nanotube and graphene

JZ Huang and Q Han, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 27, 155501 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/27/15/155501

A controllable nanoscale rotating actuator system consisting of a double carbon nanotube and graphene driven by a temperature gradient is proposed, and its rotating dynamics performance and driving mechanism are investigated through molecular dynamics simulations. The outer tube exhibits stable pure rotation with certain orientation under temperature gradient and the steady rotational speed rises as the temperature gradient increases. It reveals that the driving torque is caused by the difference of atomic van der Waals potentials due to the temperature gradient and geometrical features of carbon nanotube. A theoretical model for driving torque is established based on lattice dynamics theory and its predicted results agree well with molecular dynamics simulations. Further discussion is taken according to the theoretical model. The work in this study would be a guide for design and application of controllable nanoscale rotating devices based on carbon nanotubes and graphene.

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