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Rotating nanotube motors offer glimpse of future nanodevices

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Posted December 9, 2014

As one of the simplest and tiniest of all motors, a double-walled carbon nanotube (DWCNT) with a rotating inner tube and fixed outer tube may one day play a major role in a variety of future nanodevices. In a new study, researchers have studied the inner tube rotational behavior of a DWCNT motor whose motion is induced by a relatively high uniform temperature.

dwcnt rotating motor 1Five DWCNT models used in simulations, showing the parameters of inner tubes (blue) and outer tubes (orange). Credit: Cai, et al. ©2014 IOP Publishing Ltd

The researchers, K. Cai, et al., at Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China, and the Australian National University in Acton, Australia, have published their paper on DWCNT rotating motors in a recent issue of Nanotechnology.

As the scientists explain, DWCNTs have the potential to act as effective motors because of their combination of two important properties: the large strength of each individual tube due to its strong covalent bonds, and the weak interaction between the two adjacent tubes due to repulsive van der Waals interactions.

Read more at: Phys.org

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